Shortly after I returned from New York this past spring I received an e-mail with a subject line that questioned, "Are your neighbors criminals?" The e-mail was from "Background Check", informing me I could view criminal records instantly by clicking on whatever it is that would probably download a virus onto my computer rather than give me the dish on my lake neighbors.
I didn't delete the e-mail immediately because I found the subject line of the e-mail to be particularly funny. Because I already know my neighbors are criminals. My immediate neighbors jacked my grey hoody during a game of disc golf. But it's not just them - nearly everyone on my shore is into inadvertent thievery. I too am guilty of having held onto a flashlight or cup for far too long. Granted, the majority of items eventually get returned to who ever and where ever they belong, but sometimes it can take a while.
But rather than calling this criminal activity, we call this living in community. It's not uncommon for people to drop by each other's homes, without notice, to inquire about borrowing something or to simply chat and say hello. And with the pocket of people I've been hanging out with, there's not a whole lot of pre scheduling and pre planning that goes into building community. Rather, it's assumed we are each other's plans. And we don't have to go out to hang out because being at the lake is plenty good enough for all of us. When it comes to Michigan summers on a lake, even NYC pales in comparison.
And on our lake, sometimes we do larger group events - like last night's Luau and this week's 4th of July potluck dinner that will take place following the sailboat race. A gal, new to our lake, told me at last night's bonfire, that this is a really unique, awesome thing we've got going here. It's true, the community dynamic we have on the South Shore is rather special - something I wish every church had - and most do, but it typically takes a lot of work to get "in." Community doesn't come easy - especially in transient cities like LA and New York.