During this past week, I've attended a board meeting for the San Juan County Textile Guild, had tea with neighbors, met with the board for Chimera Gallery, held a study group with Baha'is, and attended a Christmas party for the Lopez Artists Guild. What all of these have in common is an immediate sense of community. On the mainland I attended many gatherings, but only after several years did the feeling of acceptance even start to insinuate itself into the interactions.
Where else but on an island would a warm and lovely lady approach me, introduce herself as another Sally, and in exclaiming that there are now 4 or 5 Sally's on the island, suggest that we need to get together to socialize? I'm well aware that Sally is no longer a common name. To prove it, of course, I looked it up and found that the first name Sally occurs 0.135%% of the time in females. So voila! We're creating even another chance to gather and meet!
My point? The island I call home is full of open, caring, artistic, and genuine people who are eager to welcome me into the community. While it's easy (and tempting) to hide away on my dead-end road and just work and write, it's also wonderful to participate in the community life. That islanders are so open to new friendships is a testament to island living, which includes non-judgmental acceptance.
But whatever it is, and by whatever name, I do feel welcome......and at home on this island in our little corner of the world.