This is the kind of town where it is absolutely normally to see two people nose to nose on the sidewalk talking and visiting. I can’t go 2 feet without seeing neighbors talking and they hardly notice me or that there is no possible room to walk past on these thin sidewalks in downtown Listowel. I make a point to walk around them out onto the street to not disrupt their smiles and most often very animated conversations. A car drives up to turn around a corner and someone on the sidewalk of course knows this person and must walk up to the car window and have a bit of a chat..while the cars behind patently wait. Because of course the unspoken rule is time should be given to catch up on whatever Mary has been up to lately and to simply give a hello and how are ya doing. It’s simply just a given here. Everyone is very much on the same page. Like a school of fish or a flock of birds..where one goes..the others fall in line and just know when to pause or turn or scatter. And no one complains. No one honks their horns to hurry it along. No one gives a disapproving look or a roll of the eyes. This is just how it is and I imagine it has always been. There really are some things that should not change. Some things are very much worth holding onto and I am just an observer marveling at the uniqueness of a small town and its ways. Maybe sometimes they know too much and not a lot you can get away with in such a small community but the upside is…they know you. And don’t we all just want to be known…acknowledged…said hello to once in awhile..validated. Made to feel we matter and not barely visible flecks against the landscape. You could hardly be invisible here. Maybe sometimes it is good to be in a big city where no one knows your name…going about your business..alone among so many. Other times it is good to have less around with no choice but to be noticed. That’s what a small town feels like to me. It is an opportunity to connect. Human connection. And again…less can absolutely be more.