Last Saturday morning, I opened my garage door, walked outside (a beautiful day), and I looked down the street at my neighbors house, two doors down. There, behind a small utility trailer in the driveway sat two neighbors, looking relaxed and happy, in conversation with one another. They waved, I waved, and I walked down to see what they’re doing. They’re fixing the trailer lights. We had noticed that the lights on the trailer weren’t working when we loaded these two guys in the trailer (see picture above) for our neighborhood “Christmas Walkabout”. It was a little dangerous to pull them around behind a car in the dark of night, but we kept our flashlights on as we walked behind them, caroling and stopping at several homes where our merry band enjoyed hot chocolate, hot apple cider, and many snacks.
So, on this Saturday morning one neighbor who could barely walk, had driven himself over to another neighbor who couldn’t walk, and was performing an act of loving-kindness. I was choked up.
It’s not THAT unusual for one neighbor to demonstrate kindness to another. I’m sure that almost everyone has experienced at least one act of kindness from at least one of their neighbors. What choked me up about this event, was that if it hadn’t been for our neighborhood gatherings, it wouldn’t have occurred. No one would have known that the trailer lights weren’t working and when it was discovered by my neighbor, he most likely would have had to take the trailer to a professional to get them fixed. These acts of kindness have been multiplying, in fact. One very busy neighbor finds time to make some delicious chicken soup and take it to another neighbor when she hears that they are sick. Another neighbor helps fix a car. Another one has helped at least two other neighbors with their computers. Another mows his neighbor’s lawn. The list could go on and on. These neighbors are really getting to know one another and enjoy being together. They are now becoming enthused about helping others to start gatherings in their neighborhoods. For that reason, they painted a sheet of plywood for the city to put up on the road leading to City Hall.
Last year we hosted a neighborhood barbecue, blocked off a street and had a neighborhood block party, collected and donated school supplies, had a Halloween party, a Christmas dinner, an ethnic potluck dinner for New Year’s Eve, wore funny hats and played poker until 1:30 in the morning of New Year’s day… and between 15 and 25 of us gather every Tuesday just to care for one another and find out what’s going on in each other’s life. I read recently that every community gathering should be a microcosm of the way we would like the world to be. If the whole world could become like our neighborhood is becoming….