Tonight I’m remembering a conversation I had with our neighbor, Theresa, sometime in September. There had been a bit of a cold spell that week, and by cold spell I mean about 40 degrees at night. I was outside for one reason or another and caught sight of her. 

“Hey! I haven’t seen you in awhile. You been working a lot?”

“Yeah. I just go in after work now. Plus, it’s getting cold. Nobody really sees each other in the wintertime.”

I remember laughing at the time. It was hard to picture the block’s stoops being quiet, and vacant.  

Well my friends, you can attribute most of my own silence on this blog to the silence of my neighbors. Theresa was not kidding! It’s a hibernation of sorts. I walked to the corner store this evening and it was almost comforting to walk down a quiet block, strands of yellow light peeking around doors and windows, thinking about my neighbors sitting inside, keeping warm. At the same time the block feels so different. I listen for the comforting sounds of Val hanging out of her 2nd story window, shouting greetings to her friends in the morning. I know Dave is alive because I can hear his blues guitar everyday. And of course on Tuesday mornings I am reassured by the crooked rows of contained refuse along the sidewalk on Trash Day.

It’s a little hard though, being separated from our neighbors by this invisible force, this glass wall of habit; the shield of a season. When you live somewhere intentionally, and that intention is deeply rooted in the formation of relationships, it feels like losing purpose. But far be it from me to prevent opportunities from arising. We will just have to look a little harder for a chance to share some love, and wait patiently for those happy accidents that come when we least expect it.

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