Friday, April 22, 2011

Neighborhoods / Community

I just finished reading this excellent book In the Neighborhood by Peter Lovenheim it is written about a neighborhood that I drive by daily on my way to work. It was started by a tragic event in which the author ponders if the outcome of the event would have changed if the neighbor hood were closer knit. ( I indeed remember this event as it occurred the night after my third child was born).
I grew up in a mixed neighborhood - in ages and professions, it was a quiet street but the bonds of neighbors were strong. Many of my early memories and things I learned were indeed and still are from these neighbors. My parents were good friends with many of them regardless of their ages. I had many "grandparents" in my neighbors. The artist with the cool cat, the one who gave us Hershey's kisses anytime we stopped by and my best neighbor lady who taught me how to plant in the garden and we drank Tang every day together.
Today I live rurally and the term "neighbor" has liberal meaning. I no longer have neighbors at a stones throw but over time have forged many of the same relationships. I am not sure that my children have as I cannot let them wander freely in 2011 as we could in 1971. Still it is these neighbors that we share everyday things with that we do not share with others. Power outages, weather related events, sunrises, full moons , new cars, new babies, losses, graduations, awards, new books, sprouts, pets, things that happen everyday that you do not share even with close friends because they are everyday events. I am thankful for all the neighbors I do have. I am ever hopeful to be more hospitable and entertaining to those I have, time and lack of a clean house get in the way of that though. Simple but true.

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