The old village church in the evening sun.

It’s a simple church dating back from the 10th century. The Font and an Effigy date back from the 13th century. The small graveyard shows the age more starkly with many of the gravestones now completely weathered by the Yorkshire wind and rain. Faceless.

Today as I wandered along the village street to post a letter I felt faceless. When I first moved here I knew many in the village. A number of good friends. But slowly those that knew me have thinned out. Left. Passed away. To the point where this morning I walked in a beautiful but alien village. I know hardly anyone here now. That has been amplified during a pandemic. I hope that as things open up just maybe I can start to feel part of the community again. It won’t be easy.

I suspect I’m not the only one facing this new challenge.

47 thoughts on “Faceless

  1. I have lived in a small town for about 14 years now. You would think I would know half the town by now. But it isn’t so. There is no village feel, no community. No one wants to know their neighbours. We have lost our commanality.

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  2. Part of the reason I still wear a mask everywhere I go is because I think I really enjoyed hiding behind it. I haven’t had to socialize outside of the family and the thought makes me so nervous. I really enjoyed the pandemic for its lack of social obligations.

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  3. This makes me appreciate my neighbors so much more. They have shopped for me, fed me, left food on my porch, brought me flowers, invited me into their homes for chats, and walked with me. All this while wearing masks and distancing. What a strange, strange year.

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  4. This too shall pass, we just have to learn to deal with what will be the new normal. God makes all things beautiful, in His time. He has been faithful and will continue because He changes not. I wish you peace in your spirit and a new zeal to pursue life and find new purpose. Sending a fresh dose of Blessings your way.

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  5. Years ago, on the way to Stromness Shopping Week with my kids, I remember meeting someone and greeting them friendly like. I was leading our pony, so maybe that encouraged the person to approach me. I had him all dressed up like, with a couple of small baskets of peat on either side to look Orcadian and perhaps historic. Anyways, the women said she had lived there for many years and hadn’t got to know anyone. I had recently moved in and everyone seem to know me. All I could think of now, is perhaps one of my mottos: [If you want a friend, be a friend] and in my mind I can hear Citizen Khan saying “They all know me”.

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    1. It is out of some peoples comfort zone, but I suggest to anyone to be more outgoing, as an example for others that the world can be a friendly place. Picnic chairs in the front garden instead of the back. Put up bunting for no good reason, just because you can. Have a [Free] box of things you no longer need near the gate. Create a weird bit of sculpture in the garden that will take an age to finish. Be seen and see others as they pass. People will know you and you will know them. Those houses aren’t empty, those people might be lonely, have been scared for a long ol’ year of hell. You are braver than you think and as an example, doing things outside (literally) of our comfort zone, we encourage others to do the same.

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  6. We can always live in hope, Gary, that the pandemic would make people aware of what they have lost/almost lost and change people for the better. If it happens, you will be a part of that.
    But if the past year has taught people nothing, well, you’ll hurt for a while… and then, you’ll pick yourself up and you’ll stride ahead without them because you have what they don’t – strength, wisdom, humility and generosity of spirit – and you have them in abundance.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. When we first opened up, it was a really odd feeling. I wanted to REALLY get out, but I also did not want too. It’s also weird in that now, I can make conversation with total strangers, whereas before I had real trouble doing that, lol

    Liked by 1 person

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