In the tiniest of increments, human interaction is disappearing. We can shop from home, hear or watch a church service on our couch or in our car, have restaurant food delivered to our door, have whole conversations via text and never see the person we are talking to and have groceries brought to our car. Now, we don’t even have to leave our home to go to the doctor.
Programs and events that create gathering scenarios are lagging. City and countywide baseball and softball programs are slim. Recently, Crossett High School had to cancel a football game. We have ended a summer at the City Pool where we averaged 10 swimmers a day instead of the averaged 50 a day last summer. Church youth groups are not meeting. Many civic groups have been put on hold. And in these groups and gatherings that do still meet and happen, distancing is in place. Human interaction is sliding to the backburner.
But we as humans are physically and mentally designed for interaction with each other. Some studies are already showing negative impacts on our psyche with predictions of tragedies like a rise in teen suicide rates.
Face-to-face human contact is important, so in an age where that is threatened, it is important for you to make sure you are getting it. Figure out ways to answer your comfort level regarding human connection, and make it happen.
Seek out events and programs that bring people together. You don’t have to look very far since Crossett Parks and Recreation strives to bring you events that build and celebrate community. This Saturday at the Crossett Farmers’ Market Crafters’ Fair, the front porch will have pickn’ and grinnin’ in the style of places like Mountain View. We have neighbors and Crossett natives Scott and Donna Sasser on mandolin, banjo and guitar. If you play these instruments or maybe the dulcimer, fiddle, jug or spoons you can jump in. No need to call ahead or get scheduled. Just show up and share your gift.
If your level of comfort in gathering is low enough that you are not ready for events like the Crossett Farmers Market Crafters Fair, think outside the box of traditional human connection. Sometimes, we can get just enough of what we need by just witnessing human existence. Go on a drive or walk and find Crossett’s art community offerings of painted storm drains done in conjunction with our ongoing “Paint the Town” event. Started last year with storm drains, it moves to murals this year and will eventually have a map showing you where to find these works.
You can also choose a smaller, more controlled gathering like our pop-up date night series that starts next month. After a six-month postponement, the “Dinner Under the Stars” will happen in late October. Reservations will open back up Oct. 1. You just call 870-500-0303 and reserve your table. We are toying with the idea of turning this into a series with a pop-up dance night, pop-up glamping weekend...the possibilities are brewing.
And if even the more controlled crowd events make you nervous, connect with your family. Load them up and hit our Janice Clark walking trail at the City Park. Take a pole and a can of worms and cast a line in Lucas Pond. Or head out to Felsenthal to hike the trails out there.
The point is connection. Connect with your community, either narrowly by keeping it within your family, or a bit wider with reservation-styled events that you will know the crowd size ahead of time. Some of you might even choose to go all out and show up to open-ended events that invite anyone and everyone. Connect, Crossett.
Call us anytime if you have ideas for future events or want to know about the events we have on the docket. 870-500-0303. You can also follow us on Facebook at Crossett Parks and Recreation, Crossett Farmers Market and Crossett City Pool.