I live part of each year on a private island. Regular readers likely already know this. You might know where it is, or at least about where it is. You’ve probably seen photos of the snow, the river, the dogs, the fires, the food, maybe even the outhouse.
I don’t live there alone, though I have. I occasionally talk about the other residents, and I used to talk about more. We as a community have chosen not to talk about the details because they are private. It’s our home. No one wants people they don’t know walking into their home saying things like “I read your blog, so I came over to visit” (That has happened.)
We made this decision, in part, for security reasons, because living on an island is not like living on shore. Things you take for granted when you live on shore, with a car, aren’t as easily accessible here. Like groceries, and hospitals.
But our island is our home, our private home.
Someone running ashore to poop in the woods (which has happened), feels like someone pooping on our lawn.
Someone throwing beer bottles on our beach (which has happened) means we can’t walk around barefoot or let our kids go swimming barefoot.
Someone coming onto the island and taking the motor from our boat (which has happened) is equivalent to someone stealing your car. Well, except sometimes it could mean the difference between life and death.
Someone breaking into our home and smashing up the place and breaking all the windows (that has happened) because it doesn’t look like their home, doesn’t mean it’s okay.
Someone threatening to come back at night and kill us or rape us in our sleep (that has happened) because we asked them to leave our home, it not okay.
It means we are more protective of our families, our children and our island.
It makes us less likely to let you finish your picnic before you get off our private island.
It makes us unfriendly when we find you standing on our path and ask “Do you know this is a private island?” Especially when you answer “Yes”.
It makes you unwelcome, not because you aren’t a nice person but because enough people have been disrespectful, damaged our property, stolen from us, threatened us and put our lives as risk that you are NOT WELCOME to visit without being invited.
It’s kind of what “Private” means.
No, excuse me, it’s exactly what “Private” means.