Tonight, as I let the dog in, I took the opportunity to admire my neighborhood. I stood on my porch and looked at the homes within my immediate view and was overwhelmed with love and gratitude.
I am incredibly fortunate to live in my neighborhood. I love the location. I love the view from my porch. But most of all, I love my neighbors.
There are some younger than us, some older than us, and a few of the wise and wonderful generation. And each of them has touched my life in some way.
Our immediate neighbors have been incredibly understanding and forgiving during times when the volume between my husband and me was intense. And again when my children held a picnic on their porch and didn't clean it up. They have been kind and helpful. They have watched over us. They have been an emergency contact for my children when we were away; I felt comforted knowing they were there for my kids.
The ones on the other side I don't know as well. The parents only speak Spanish and I don't. We haven't really connected verbally. But they have been polite and friendly. We wave at each other with a big smile. Even without many words, there is a tenderness there. An understanding that we are neighbors.
Across the street is my neighbor who is 95 (give or take a year). He frequently walks across the street and visits with me and my kids when we're in the yard. He brings us produce from his garden. He talks to my kids about the activities they are involved with. He tells me about his family and all that they are up to. And he loves us. In the way he talks to us and smiles at us, I know that he does.
And all along the street I can see people who are kind to me. People who have helped me. People who look out for me and my kids. People who see when I'm having a bad day and give me a hug. People who look past the irritating things we do and are still our friends. People who've had hard times and learned lessons and shared them. People who speak with love from their heart. People who are open to connecting and aren't afraid of being loved.
I hear of people who don't get along with their neighbors or who live in unsafe neighborhoods and I am sad. I wish everyone had a neighborhood like I do.
Each of these people has touched my heart. Each of them has served me at one time or another. And if asked each of them would probably say that they didn't do much. But isn't that the point of a neighborhood? If we all do a little to take care of each other, everything important will get done.