I guess you may be wondering why I hyphenated the word neighbor. It’s because this blog post is about horses. Well, not specifically horses but the impact they have had on the community I live in, East Hampton.
I own a home on a 17 acre nature preserve and bought it specifically for that reason. When I sit by the pool (working of course) or look out from the living room (working of course), I can almost imagine myself back in Africa, depending on the light. It is a field with a few scattered low trees and grasses. And, it is often filled with animals such as deer, which if you don’t look too closely can easily be elands or kudus; wild turkey which my dog Remington, loves to chase and bay at incessantly; the occasional fox, lots of birds and rabbits. It’s truly paradise.
Well, the homeowners association decided to allow polo practice to take place on the field. While that may seem romantic, let me tell you what entailed. I woke up one morning early in the summer with the entire house shaking. Could this be the big one? No, it was a bulldozer pounding the earth and rattling every window, plate, etc in my homes so the ponies had a level playing field. By the end, the field resembled a green parking lot- that’s how flat it was. Then I noticed that the animals no longer came out to play. It was very disheartening.
For those of you who don’t know what a scenic easement is, let me explain. The east of Long Island takes its open space very seriously. In fact, there is a tax on the sale of houses that goes specifically towards buying open space. In fact, Steven Spielberg also happens to live on a scenic easement- not the same one as me. His is less than a half mile away but since it’s the Hamptons, distance is counted more by money than mileage, so it’s at least 15 million dollars away depending on the market.But I digress. A scenic easement is meant to stay in the same way in perpetuity. Meaning, it can never be used for anything other than open space. How does putting a sports field on that land even come close to that definition?
Well, the real meaning of this post is that the neighbors have done this to the field without taking anyone else’s feelings but their own into consideration. Even the neighbors fighting the decision are having a hard time getting along and agreeing on the best approach to bring polo down. So really, why is it so hard for us all to get along (not just my neighbors) but the real world.Honestly, if Ronni, Sammi, and JWow can sit on the same couch after what went down in Miami this season of the Jersey Shore reunion episode, you would think anyone could set aside their differences and move on. I always think that people should be more like dogs. They always seem to get along and play nicely with each other when the have never met. Dogs are kinda like goldfish in that respect as they have no sense of time. Yet, my dog Remington always knows when its dinnertime- hmmmmm.
My request is for all of us to consider how our actions affect others. It may take maybe five minutes out of our day. Think before you speak; Act, don’t react. Play nice. Do something nice for someone you know or even someone you don’t know this week. I would love to know how it went.
And remember, as they tell us every day in the subway: ” Courtesy is contagious.”