Monday, January 12, 2009

Community in the neighborhood

Loss is everywhere it seems lately. Jobs, retirement savings, houses.

Community helps make the sting not hurt quite so bad. Just today an older neighbor and her dog came over to visit our dogs at the Howard House. She said she hadn't been feeling too well. "Sometimes it seems life is slipping away from me," she said. But the sunshine and conversation we shared in the backyard made her feel a little better, she said.

And then as I walked her back to her house since she was feeling a little wobbly, we met two other neighbors we didn't know. Walking with dogs always helps with these connections it seems. We admired our new acquaintance's beautiful, shiny white hair. Learned her accent was Russian, that her husband had died just three years ago, and she'd recently lost her house in a fraud case. And then she and her son walked on with us. Soon we were sitting in another backyard. More connections were made. Conversation and fresh oranges from trees planted by our neighbor years ago were shared. I'm sure we'll all visit with one another again soon. This is what neighborhoods are for. And I'm grateful for my neighbors who shared the gift of community and presence with me today.


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