Interesting take on how geography affects community life, in “Small town brings sense of community.” I’m sure there are many other factors, but the shape of our physical environment does affect how we connect and stay connected:
In our small town of Spencer, the teenagers know what they’re doing after school or after work – and they’re all doing the same thing. They’re going to eat downtown and walk around the square then they’re going to the Robey Theatre to take in a movie. They might drive around the Walmart parking lot or hang out at the park. Teenagers don’t drive 40 miles in any direction at the turn of a dime around here. We don’t have flat, straight roads.
I was surprised by how quickly, within a few months of leaving home, my son looked back on his teenage years here and realized what he’d had – a tightly knit community and a shared experience teenagers in other parts of the country (the flat, straight parts) don’t know still exists. The disconnection from community and shared experiences was shocking to him. He missed the limits of the hills that brought people together.