If there was one really great thing my parents did for me as a kid, it was to make sure I grew up in a neighborhood. When I was five, we moved into a house on a suburban street with a cul-de-sac, and we stayed there for the rest of my childhood. Some neighbors came and went, but most were life-ers. This gave me a sense of “place” I’ve never really been able to replicate—until very recently.

In my early adult years, I bounced around from house to house and job to job, trying to figure out where I belonged and what I should be doing with myself. Then about six years ago, right around this fall/winter season, I moved back up to Bellingham and onto a little street with a cul-de-sac. Some neighbors come and go, but many are long-termers. My running partner, Julie, lives a few doors down, and my next door neighbors are a pair of fun, smart, beautiful sisters who will be running a half marathon with me in January.

Today I went out for a short run with Fuji, the BT. From behind me I heard someone say, “It’s Cami.” I turned around to see Carol and Sharon. They slowed to my pace and we chatted for a few minutes before they ran on ahead and left me to my own thoughts. And here’s what I’m thinking: I’m grateful today for a community of people who know me by name. It’s easy to be anonymous, and sometimes it’s even advantageous, but most days it’s nice to live on a little street with a cul-de-sac and to run on trails where you might see friends. Thanks to everyone, near and far, who is part of my community. I really value you.

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