This may just be my weirdness slipping out. Living in Livingston one finds out pretty quickly that they must wave to everyone and for goodness sake always stop to talk. When we lived in other communities people wouldn’t even acknowledge us.
Now I am starting to think. I’ll bet that built into us as humans and animals this is a primal way of survival. We’re like deer in that when you see another and they wag their tail or wave it means everything’s a-okay and everyone is a friend. But if you don’t see anybody wag their tail or wave, you get a little release of adrenaline. Because deep down we are wondering if it is an enemy and if they are going to kill us? Is it a threat? Am I about to be eaten or pillaged?
I know this because it is how I feel in Livingston, I feel at peace when everybody waves. I think everything’s okay.
But in a previous town. People would just stare right through us and so we stopped waving after about a year. And I noticed that every confrontation on a trail and every meet up was this hostile staredown.
And I think it’s because people stopped waving. People stopped smiling and people stopped talking. It takes moving to a small friendly town to realize this. Sure there’s a lot of characters in Livingston. A lot of characters and a lot of different people. People that don’t fit in in the big communities.
But you know what? I have never felt safer as I do now.