Life in the Slow Lane: Let it go

Published 2:00 pm Friday, June 23, 2017

To my fans, all three of you, I’m sorry it’s been so long since my last column. I’m not in the business of making people angry so when I read/heard some frustrations over my last column I decided to go dark for a few months. This town is too small and I cannot afford – nor do I want – to make anyone angry. If, by telling the truth, I’ve hurt your feelings I’m truly sorry. I’ll do my best to be more careful going forward. Here’s hoping we can all move forward in the spirit of forgiveness and tolerance, two things that seem to be missing in our world today.

Now about those crazy neighbors. . .  Just kidding.

I do find it interesting how much frustration seems to come from dogs barking, roosters crowing and halogen lights shining in our little community. One of the things we desperately wanted when moving here was to raise chickens and see the stars at night, which led us to a home in the woods just outside the city limits of Tryon. Our first few weeks in our new home were glorious. It was quiet, and dark at night. So dark, on a clear night we could see stars vividly in all directions.

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And then, one night, everything changed. Our new neighbors decided to install one of those giant halogen lights right at the corner of our property. There goes the neighborhood, and the stars. I’m curious why would someone do that? Why mess up a beautiful night sky with a giant, artificial light? I don’t get it. What are you afraid of?

When I shared this experience with friends, I got the same response, “Can you shoot it out with a bb gun?” It’s a good idea but Duke Power is too smart for that. Those lights are now encased in bulletproof glass, or so I hear. So, after a few almost confrontations with my new neighbor, I decided to just let it go. Sure, deep down, every night when I saw that light instead of the stars, I was angry. Who are you to steal my night sky? And, every night, I tried to let it go. Over time it got easier but the frustration never fully went away.

We’ve had a few interesting interactions with this neighbor. None of them positive, sadly. But over time we’ve learned to live and let live and it’s actually been a freeing experience. We’ll never be best friends and you know what? That’s ok. But we have learned to live next to each other in relative peace and harmony. I try not to walk my dog at night and recently they actually disconnected that giant halogen. I didn’t have to call the police or send an angry letter. I just let it go. And you know what?

The stars came back.

Next time you want to confront, try to let it go. And just wait. Maybe you’ll get everything your heart desires. If not, keep waiting. The stars will come back. They did for me.

Now about that rooster …

Let it go, Michael. Let. It. Go.

Michael Baughman, Life in the Slow Lane