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Island life: a lonely proposition for women

November 18th, 2004 · No Comments

Isolation may not be an election issue, but on Bainbridge Island it’s a women’s issue.

Cathy Nickum, columnist in the Bainbridge Island Review, again writes with accurate insight about island life in today’s edition of the paper. Wondering what she can do to “act locally” after the election, she decides to work on on women’s issues. She recalls the significant response she received years ago after writing about friendship in a Bainbridge women’s publication and she elaborates on what makes Bainbridge a lonely place.

Bainbridge Island offers beauty, privacy and independence. Historically, people who moved here had an idea of – and attraction to – the precarious balance between isolation and community. People who are tempermentally suited to living in the woods at the end of a long dirt road are happy here.

But increasingly, families are relocating to Bainbridge from more distant cities and states for good schools, safe neighborhoods and other factors which look good on paper, but don’t tell the whole story. Once they’re here, some of these “transplants” find living on a tree-covered island separated by a ferry ride from Seattle a lonely proposition.

I’m grateful for Cathy Nickum’s willingness to write about loneliness, its possible causes and also its potential consequences on the women of the island. This beautiful place can also feel isolating and even depressing. A public confession like this one is powerful. I imagine that many other women will agree with what she has written.

While I appreciate how the columnist encourages women to connect, reach out to neighbors or invite each other for coffee, I do wish though that she had had more space to elaborate on possible solutions to the problem of loneliness. One-on-one connection is powerful. I believe in individual relationships building a larger whole. But perhaps there would be a place for group action or activities… Yes, I am thinking about some ideas myself….if anyone else has ideas, please share below in the comments…!

Tags: island

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