Maybe it has been a situation of supreme luck but we have never really suffered from a case of ‘bad neighbours’.
Sure, there have been some passive-aggressive moments involving the time Eli was playing basketball in the morning and the placement of our bin on the wrong nature strip by unsuspecting builders,…and I must admit there have been families who provided us with constant entertaining theatre in the form of public yelling matches, but I digress…(I’m sure they can hear me yelling at the kids from time to time, so I guess that makes us even?) On the whole, the reality of neighbours has been a positive one.
There is the exchange of baked goods, the friendly wave as you intersect heading out, the knocks at the door to let you know your garage is still wide open. The cups of tea and invitation into the chaos of reality with kids, the messages asking if you can come over and just be there in times of hardship.
Gifts of wine and generous back garden renovations, stories of hardship and loneliness. Nights of laughter and solemn recounting of memories with the Real Housewives of Aspect crew – eating spicy chicken with our fingers and inadvertently spraying each other as we attempted to navigate cobs of charred, buttery corn. There are the messages checking if you are OK, reassuring you that they are there if you need to chat. The weekly reminders of ‘bin night’ on the neighbourhood Facebook page.
Shared plastic glasses of sparkling rosé standing on the slab, surrounded by the wooden posts that would become our walls. Chance meetings in the dark of two families excitedly checking out the progress of the build. Barbecues, live music, water fights, impromptu freezer dinners, car pools, meetings at the playground, the sharing of fudge sundaes while planning events. Surprise deliveries of still-warm, flaky apple pies from Johnny Ripe, invitations from passing strangers to come and meet their family and share Indian delicacies. The rendering of assistance on a teetering ladder as a fallen baby bird was carefully delivered back to its nest in our rafters.
We have stumbled upon the profound discovery that there is such a richness in the random selection of people who surround us. It may not always be simple or conflict-free, but the relational connections that are possible only steps away – that is definitely worth fighting for.
*This post was written in more than five minutes.
This post is part of the #Write31Days challenge that I’m participating in along with a talented community of other writers. We free write for five minutes (or more) guided by a prompt. Today’s prompt is ‘neighbour’.
For more information on 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes, check out Christina Hubbard’s site!