Everyone knows the saying “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” which has been repeated throughout history by Confucius, MLK Jr., Jesus, among others. Sure, I’ve always believed it to be true, but never have I truly understood it until now. Growing up, my family and I kept to ourselves; we were good neighbors by respecting property boundaries and giving no reason for complaints. In college in Pittsburgh, the residents in my apartment were like ghosts.We’d hear muffled conversations through the walls and heavy bass music on weekends, but we didn’t hang out. Nothing but head nods in the hallway.
Here we are at Blue Heron Farm in the centerish of North Carolina, near Chapel Hill. Blue Heron is a commune of around thirty people of all ages that live sustainable lives. They build their own houses and grow their own food, sharing skills and produce with each other. Some people have lived here for years and started a family. Others were travelers who came not knowing they weren’t going to leave. Our Wwoofing host, Debbie, says it’s easy to fall in love with this place.
The journey began in front of Gary Clark Jr. Halloween night in Boston. A mixed crowd at the House of Blues, I stood next to a drunk bunny. Taylor and I went as “normal city people”; considering we spent the last five months in dirty Carhartts and a hard hat, it certainly felt like a costume. I wore my leather jacket, remembering that the last time I wore it was in college in Pittsburgh and the last time I saw Gary Clark was in a tank top in Montreal.