When I moved to Vancouver I had to make a choice as to where to live. I could live in a house with other people and close to where I would work, or I could live alone and further away. This is a common choice in cities.
I chose the former. After 25 years of driving in and out of NYC I would land in Vancouver without a car. I now walk to and from work every day (and sometimes a friend gives a lift!). I live with housemates. I buy groceries from the local market and their isn’t a big box store for miles.
Living local isn’t just for the benefit of local stores. It’s not just about growing and eating local food, or living without a car. Living local is about remembering how relationships function. Encountering the same people daily. Saying “hi,” checking in their needs, and allowing others to do the same for us.
A local ethic changes everything about how we see our place in our community. Our block is as important as our home. Our local relationships are as important (if not more) than the international ones. We focus our energy toward what we can touch, not what we can reach. Then we become like farmers again, tending to the land, watching for the weather, and planting seeds, if only in the hearts of our neighbors.