Where Everyone Knows Your Name

Usually I walk to my aqua fitness class, but today I took borrowed Andy’s truck. When I came out, a bunch of kids were sitting in the cab. Two of them were my students.

Big smiles and “Hi Andi!” as if it is perfectly natural to sit in parked vehicles. There are few boundaries and sense of property here.

I grew up in a predominantly French-speaking area of Quebec and didn’t speak the language. My English school friends driven over by their parents. Aside from polite greetings and nods, there was little communication in our neighbourhood. Later, I attended university in Montreal and worked downtown. Montreal is too big of a city to be friendly.

I am delighted to wave at families, crowded onto an ATV, women carrying babies in their hoods, men walking to work, and seeing them happily wave back. I wave at everyone.

We aren’t questioned anymore. “Who are you? “, “Where do you come from?”, or “WHAT are you?”

Our presence has ensconced itself into the community where everyone knows our names.

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