March 7, 2023
I recently listened to a podcast by Tara Brach, a well known psychologist, teacher, meditator and author. She does weekly talks on mindfulness, buddhism and psychology. In this talk she had just returned from leading a meditation retreat in Costa Rica. The focus of her talk was on “Making the Whole World Your Friend.” Tara introduced the topic by saying that in Costa Rica there is a word that gets used a lot, “Pura Vida.” It means the pure life, the good life, the simple life. Costa Ricans consider it an expression of their culture and they use it to say hello, goodbye and we are connected in a friendly and happy way. It is an expression of friendliness which is really the atmosphere of their culture. I’ve never been to Costa Rica, but this alone makes me curious. Who wouldn’t want to go somewhere that believes in consistent friendliness as a way of life. I am sure we can all agree that we all feel more relaxed, trusting and at ease when we are around friendly people. Living in a tourist area such as Haliburton County, where we rely on people coming and staying and returning, I would think that friendliness is very important. We want to be known as being friendly, and I believe we each contribute to a friendly atmosphere it in our own way.
Recently 2 members of our community packed up their home and moved to Niagara on the Lake (NOTL). Judy and Charlie Davis moved south to be closer to family and for other personal reasons. They had lived in Haliburton for 20 years and we were sad to see them go. Charlie is well known for his love of music and the music that he made with his friends over the years. He and his band members performed many times for the long term care residences, at music in the park, in local pubs and beyond. Charlie also volunteered at the Fish Hatchery for over 16 years. Judy worked in Health Care for many years and is known for her beautiful home and gardens that she created. Most of all, I would say that Judy and Charlie are known for their friendliness. They always have time for a conversation, a story to share and questions to ask about the lives of people they are engaging with. Judy and Charlie are positive, kind, caring and friendly people. They are very missed in our town. They arrived in NOTL and began to move in. Within a day they sent a text to us saying that their neighbours had been over to welcome them and were very friendly. Jim and I laughed and the first thought that came to our mind is that of course Judy and Charlie have friendly neighbours. It is because they are friendly and friendly people find friendly people! When friendliness is part of your daily life there is more opportunity for kindness, warmth, humour, ease and a cup of tea! Life is easier. I often think of that saying, “People won’t remember what you wore or how your house looks, they will remember how you made them feel.” Friendliness matters.