I am attending an amazing conference with people who want to start intentional communities (yes, I still dream). Some of the attendees have visited wonderful communities and would have joined except for one little problem – the bugs. They were from California and a desert environment, so when they saw a black cloud of mosquitoes over a Midwest creek they knew they couldn’t live there. They also itched for days afterwards.
Another person visited a place in the South and loved the people but not the chiggers. They couldn’t believe a creature could dig deep into your skin and make you scratch seemingly forever.
Even for me, when I think maybe I should give my community a second chance I remember the location and the bugs. I loved being out on my porch but those bugs would attack. I started putting on Avon’s Skin so Soft every morning to start my day but I really hate wearing creams. I made a catio with a screened in patio for humans but it was in the backyard and private so defeated the cohousing purpose.
I also hated the climate. I had moved off the mountain top for a valley and what a temperature difference! The heat was unbearable to me. Yet, when I became a social pariah I had nothing to do but exercise so I’d bike in the morning and somehow, could walk 3 miles in the afternoon in the heat. Lots of trees helped. Maybe I was trying to fry my sins away.
So, people are important (the most) yet location matters. Now I”m exactly where I was dreaming to be – the beach. Still bugs but the breeze reduces them and I have another screened -in porch overlooking the dunes. And somehow, other people attracted to the beach are similar to me. Very social and outgoing. Lots of retirees with time to socialize. People outside all the time and doing exercise or yoga or just relaxing watching the waves. I know my neighbors. I meet new people all the time on the beach – some tourists, some people recently moved here too. I even befriended a group of party animals. Location. Location, location and bugs you can handle.