I sat down to start writing this morning and then had to pause to attend my dear, longtime neighbor’s funeral. When I returned, I was inspired to write about something entirely different… or so I thought.
I have lived in the same house for 22 years, and through those years I have come to regard my neighbors as extended family. Most people seem to meet their neighbors through their children. But my experience has been different. At the time we moved in, most of my neighbors’ children were much older; so, that isn’t how we came to know one another. We’ve gotten to know one another from walking our dogs or from helping each other when we saw someone needed a hand. We’ve come together with a commonality of wanting to be of service to one another, and in that process we have formed a strong bond of love.
There is an ease and flow and simplicity of beautiful friendships; they do not take work. My neighbors respect one another. We don’t intervene unless asked, and yet we don’t let one another struggle with shoveling ten inches of snow on their own. Like any long relationship, we have built a history, and we know what one another has been through – the good, the bad, the ugly. There is comfort in that for me.
I realize I am very fortunate. I know people who have lived in the same place for a long time. They wave when exiting and entering their garage, but that is the extent of their friendship.
My original topic for my blog this week was simplicity. Although I’ve written about neighbors and friendship, which came as a surprise to me, I realize simplicity and friendship are related. It is truly the simple things in life that take little or no effort; true friendship is simple, and that in itself is beautiful.
Today my neighbors and I came together to honor a man that leaves behind an incredible legacy. A simple smile he gave us each day and a loving tease to remind us that he cared were all we needed to call this man our friend.
May we all learn to enjoy the simple gifts in life!