Sunday, November 8, 2009

Raking Makes Good Neighbors

Neighborhoods are alive and well in my part of the world. The houses on my small city street are close together and so we frequently connect with our neighbors if even for a wave when heading out to the store and possibly a conversation when we return.  This is the ritual during the summer months and now, with winter creeping in, we do so with more intention. 

I didn’t realize that last Sunday was our last to enjoy the raking of leaves with our neighbors but loved that it was a neighborhood thing. One neighbor was out there raking alone and soon the men gathered and, learning that the city was to pick up the leaves the next day, determined the chore at hand was to get all the leaves raked and out to the curb. 

Some raked the leaves to the curb. Others raked them into large plastic bags and carried them to the curb, pouring them into piles that soon lined our entire street. My husband helped our neighbor with his backyard. They raked the leaves onto a yellow bed sheet and gave them magic carpet rides to the curb. It reminded me of the fun I had with the leaves as a kid. My best friend came up with the idea of using the leaves to create roadways for our bikes. We spent hours riding our bikes in and around and through these paths over her large back yard and often wound up on the ground laughing in the wet leaves.

But that’s not how the men would handle it today. With the smell of the damp leaves trailing behind them and the hope of a warm fire ahead all were satisfied that our yards were once again well tended and called it a day in just over an hour.

I like this closeness at this point in my life and know we are fortunate to have such good neighbors and to share in the living of it. As we head South I know I will miss them and this closeness and our home here but as the temperatures have dipped into the 20’s at night I look forward to the warmth, the reliable sunshine, spending time with my daughter and attending another painting workshop or two. Java!

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