October Twenty-fourth, Thoughts on Yesterday’s being a neighbor moment

How many of you, have neighbors you wish would move? How many of your neighbors, may wish the same about you? Life and the progression of time has really changed the act of being neighborly.

As a bit of backstory, I live in the home I grew up in. My parents live in the home next door which is where my grandparents on mom’s side lived. Growing up on this one lane, dead end dirt road, there was a total of four houses. As time passed, the neighborhood grew. Two duplex apartments were built, my brother built a home, and a few others have slowly been added along the way.

We have had issues at times. A neighbor across from my parents had mental health and addiction issues. He was also easily conned by not so well meaning people. He was not stupid though even in his addictions and reached a point where he knew he needed help. It took several visits by police and an extreme set of actions to get him out and into a facility where he is a changed person. Part of our family bought the land he owned and now mom and dad know they are safer.

The apartments though, have always been an issue. With places where people can and often do come and go quickly you never know who your neighbor will be. Over the course of time we have had some of the nicest neighbors one would ever hope for, and we’ve had neighbors that cause feelings ranging from aggravation to fear. My mother has cried over a neighbor who died and another who moved away to be closer to family. To say she loved them is an understatement. My mother was cursed out once because we would not allow the neighbor’s children to come onto our property to build a clubhouse in the woods. They had already set fires in the woods behind the apartments. The woods behind my house at that time, were thanks to a drought, a tinderbox waiting to be lit.

Still, one tries to be neighborly when possible. It was how times were, it was how we were brought up. You accept that people are different, you understand that people were not taught the same things you were, you don’t judge and you be friendly. A lot of folks try, to understand when you explain that what they are doing is an issue, some don’t.

Here we are in the year of total weirdness. Many are struggling to find a way through the madness that has been dumped upon us in a healthy and safe manner. Some are managing to do so with grace, some are on edge and not only ready but are striking out at those around them. Lines have been drawn and crossing them means battles. Arguments over masks, over crowds, over shortages and job loss, over the upcoming election. We have become a people divided.

Now, all of that to bring up yesterday.

I was out walking circles in my make-shift track. This section of my yard has the remains of a privacy fence along the roadway, from when we had an above ground pool years ago. I was trying to reach my set goal of steps and doing some free thinking and talking out things that were bothering me. As I walked, I heard the approach of a neighbor. He passed the section of fence and walked up to the end of the dirt road. As I walked, I heard his return approach. Each time I had been in a position on my little track that I could hear, but too far away to actually speak. I heard the voice of a small child calling to him. Quickly she was with him as they turned and started back up the road. From appearance she was around four years old, and adorable as only a child that age can be. Her young age causing her to stop and check out everything along the road that caught her attention. Her laughter was music that drifted across the space that separated us and lifted a worried mind.

When they made their way down the road the next time, I was near enough that I could speak. The neighbor, a twenty-something black man and his niece. Me, a sixty-three year old white lady. I make this designation because as he approached, I greeted him. He immediately hesitated but returned my greeting. He had a large cast that covered his hand up to almost his elbow. When I asked about it he told me that he had a fractured hand. Then told me about having been shot, six times. He had suffered a collapsed lung and obviously other issues. When he told me about the incident when of when it happened, I thought I recalled, but after researching it later found I was correct. This was the man who was in the back of the police car when a woman grabbed a gun and shot him. Six times. This young man, is a walking miracle.

I don’t know why she shot him. I don’t know and I’m not asking. From the short conversation I had with this very polite, young man, I know he is blessed. He has a purpose. The fact that we were able to stand and visit, neighbor to neighbor in a way that doesn’t happen often any more, returned a bit of faith in humanity. Seeing him hesitate at first, was disheartening, seeing his smile as he walked away, relieved that. I hope to build on this first meeting. To be neighborly, to get to know my neighbors, may just be a very good thing.

Unless you live on a private island or back in the back of the wilderness somewhere, you will have neighbors. Not all of those neighbors will be perfection personified. There will always be someone who is, who does things, who believes things differently. There will always be someone of a different something. Just because they are different, does not make them wrong, does not make them evil. I do know, that there are evil, dangerous people in this world who would not hesitate to do harm, I’m not talking about them right now. I’m talking about the neighbor with the nice smile, whose relatives adore them, and who understand that neighbors can be in the very least friendly, in the very best-friends.

We are all flowers in this field called life. Each have beauty, each have purpose. Not one better or more beautiful than the other.
Every individual, just as every flower as a different beauty to the garden. To attempt to remove one merely diminishes that beauty.

About rebecca s revels

A writer, a photographer, a cancer survivor. An adventurer of the mild kind, a lover of the simple pleasures such as long walks and chocolate. A Christian unashamed of my faith and a friend who is dependable and will encourage readily. Author of three self published books with more waiting to find their way to paper. An advocate of good things, a fighter against wrongs.
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