I’m growing to love my 365 Sunday neighborhood strolls. Yep, Lived in my house for 9 years, though I knew the area. And in only two weeks of 365 outings, am beginning to realize I really know nothing about the people who live so near to me, and how amazing they are. Everyone has a story, my local community is a testament to culture. Not talking about hyped culture. What I am focusing on is the kind that has roots: Individuals, families, and diverse origins. The streets around me are a real melting pot of humanity. And how cool is that!
It’s a funny thing how easy it is to get caught in the comfort of our own personal islands. Home is our sanctuary, but I’m also starting to accept the fact that it can be an isolation as well. Only 17 days into 365 and I’m blown away at what I am learning. Keeping my chins up and eyes open is showing me that the world really is a small place.
I challenge you to join me in reaching out. Get to know your neighbors. Not just the ones to the left and right of you. Dig a little deeper, walk a longer stride and say hello to faces you’ve never seen. I promise you’ll be better for doing so.
One of my philosophical soap boxes statement, “water does seek its own level.” I experience this point in flying colors tonight.
I’m out for only a few minutes, literally a 2 minute walk from my front door when I come across Artist, Janet, and her co-blogging daughter, Marie. It’s Marie’s birthday (HAPPY B-DAY). She, her Mother and baby Bichon Frise are on a neighborly walk. They are about 100 yards in front of me. The little voice in my heart is telling me I need to introduce myself to them. But, with the distance, I feel it would be a little creepy to speed up the pace to catch up to where they are. I tell myself if it is meant to be, it will be.
I divert my focus to enjoy the beautiful light passing through the trees, when Marie, Janet and Bichon baby stop to chat with a neighbor who is busily watering her lawn. Feeling a bit like an intruder, I step up into the conversation and introduce myself and my project.
Back to “water does seek its own level.” I find out that Marie is a very established stylist and fashion consultant, who prior to working on her own, was with Barneys New York. Quite an accomplishment for a woman in her early twenties. It’s always great to meet people in supporting fields. Check out her blog, themavenpost.com. This girl is really talented, so any of you reading this entry who are in need of a stylist, get her while you can, or at least put her in your contact list.
However, credit where credit is due. Marie comes from a line of artists. Here mother Janet is an accomplished pastel artist. We talk about art for a minute and they invite me into their home to see some of her drawings. We even figure out an on the fly way to photograph one of them. I would be remise by not showing you her artwork. It goes further though, Janet also has a son following in her artistic footsteps, a very successfully working celebrity photographer. Both she and Marie tell me about him with great pride. I always love it when I hear of other people keeping alive as photographers and artists. Thanks ladies for the affirmation.
Here is the greatest thing about the experience. As I am invited into the house, I am greeted into a living room full of some of the warmest people I have come upon. The home is busy with activity; family members are watching TV, playing with children or simply relaxing. Even though it’s family Sunday, they are all thoroughly welcoming to what is now, their experience in meeting a stranger, who? me!
I’m humbled by the time spent with this sweet family and walk away with another witness of family love and unity.
Thanks for the invite neighbors. I look forward to bumping into you again!