Some of my fondest memories come from playing with the neighbor kids, anything from ghost tag to hide-and-go-seek.
As an adult, it’s been a hit or miss proposition, but right now I am blessed to have the most incredible neighbors around. Stepping out and seeing them is an opportunity for a quick visit that sometimes turns into tea or a drink on the porch.
Happiness is neighbors.
Where we live is critical to our level of happiness. Yes, we can be happy inside us—the highest place—but the space we call home is like the soil to those soul roots. I learned a while back to start praying for good neighbors when I’d had a few who…well, weren’t. When new ones arrived, I would write them a welcome card and wrap a shiny bow around a bottle of wine. It never failed to surprise them and created that initial bond of friendship. Since then, we’ve grown together in leaps and bounds. When I had just started writing and dreaming about becoming a “real” writer, one of my neighbors told me about this idea he had, one that he felt “called” to do. Well, his dream just went live on the Internet today, and I was over the moon for him. Like my own dream, he’d worked for a long time on his, nurturing it and helping it come to life.
Neighbors are my community. The ninety-one-year-old lady across the street and I wave at each other every time I leave the house. I started this tradition some time ago when I realized I would want someone to wave to my grandmother, who was alive then.
I designed my neighbor’s garden, and in two of my neighbors’ yards, I have vegetables growing in their space that soaks up full sun.
We tend to each other. We celebrate each other. We shine light to each other.
The fences between our properties aren’t there to keep each other out. They existed before us and don’t define our relationships. They’re only a marker that gives my garden structure and some privacy when I need it.
There was one neighbor down the street who really kept to himself. For years, I heard tall tales about him, many that curled my toes. One day, I was out gardening and was guided to introduce myself even though I’d been in the neighborhood for years. After his initial surprise, he warmed up like a Labrador puppy. The poor man was shy, a loner, and not great with people. Now, he’s warm and friendly and is someone we can all count on. Funny how just a little connection changes everything.
What about your neighbors? Are they community? Is there a way to forge new bonds and bring new light to your neighborhood? I’ll bet with only a little smile and an introduction, you’ll be amazed at how incredible things shift in the place you call home.
Image courtesy of Phiseksit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net