One day you drive by and see deep forests of green. The next time only cleared land of a new subdivision. You spirit morns the passing of the green and wonders about the smartness of the new development. Why all the sprawl, you ask yourself.

There are good things about subdivisions though. They offer more stability for growing families than apartment living. An opportunity to build your own life and home. Sometimes schools and areas are more safe than the city. Your money goes to build your worth, not the landlords.

Not all is good though. Most subdivisions are isolated, away from the small commerce that often ties urban communities together.  Subdivision can break one of the three social legs phycologists say are important for well being. Family and friends are not enough. Random connections with other people are an equally key, but sometimes difficult in suburbia.

Vivek Murthy, the surgeon general says the need for the third leg of social interaction is deeply embedded in us and dates back to prehistoric times. When hunters and gathers learned the value of pairing up with all people of an area to increase the chances for hunting success and safety at night. We may have survived to this day because of our ability to work with others.

It doesn’t mean that this can't exist if we live in a subdivision. But, it takes an effort to reach out. One that has been further hampered by months of the pandemic. 

Naturalists and forest managers tell us that trees in the forest communicate with each other. Their roots reach out combining with ones of other trees. When one is threatened by a lack of water, others will funnel water through the roots to them. 

If we are to gain the greatest benefits from living in subdivisions, perhaps it’s good to remember the lessons of the threes that were once there…