Being: Conscious, mortal existence; life.
Every month we welcome two families, two people, two voices to share their stories in whatever way they chose. We hope that you find joy in their daily lives, and their simple habit of just being.
We had lived in our old neighborhood, in a beach community in California, for 10 years and had had only brief encounters with our neighbors. The occasional hello over the hedge, the quick request for lemons from our front yard lemon tree, and the very infrequent chat on the corner about the latest neighborhood crime. Not exactly the sort of interactions that foster neighborly love in that storybook kind of way.
We moved to our tiny house by the bay, which was once the post office for our little community, two years ago and in that time we have learned what it means to be neighborly.
It started with little things. A request for us to come over for a cup of tea… Who does that anymore? My neighbor does, on a regular basis. Then came a bag of beans from a father’s garden, a bunch of mint to dry for tea, a jar of local honey, an offer to collect all the apples we could eat from the trees next door.
It did not come naturally for my husband and I to head over to the neighbors yard to strike up a conversation but kids being kids they would find their way over almost every moment they saw an opportunity. They would run over to say hello while our neighbor to the left was hanging clothes out on the clothesline. They asked to join in while our neighbor to the right was tossing twigs on the burn pile. They would weave their way quickly through the forest to meet up with another neighbor at just the right spot where they would turn off the forest trail to head home. At first we were worried that the neighbors would feel they had lost a bit of privacy in these intrusions from our children. As we would go over to retrieve our kids we found ourselves lost in conversation.
Over and over the neighbors would tell us how much they enjoyed talking with our kids. As time passed we came to look forward to these neighborly encounters. The more we chatted the more we learned about this fascinating community we moved to.
Our neighbor to the left lives in the home that was once her grandmother’s house. She grew up five houses down the road and as a child ran through our yard coming to and from her grandmothers house. She tells stories of coming up to the little window in our living room to retrieve the mail and picking raspberries in the same patch in the backyard our own children wander through in the summer.
Our neighbor two doors down actually grew up in the house next door, to the right. His father divided the property so he could have a parcel to build his own house. When my daughter found a bit of history at the beach across the street he was a wealth of historical information about the hotel that was once a busy tourist stop here, but found its demise with a fire in the late 1930’s.
The stories go on and on and with each one we become more and more steeped in the history and culture of this place. We become more and more neighborly.
Thanks to our curious sprouting children we have extended ourselves and grown in the process. Do you have a story of growth inspired by your children?
This month we welcome Dawn, from To the Outskirts, to the Being Series. Dawn is a mama and homeschooler of two children, and often blogs about their adventures as California transplants adapting to life on the coast of Nova Scotia. We hope that you will join us here each Thursday for Dawn’s images and reflections.
Rhythm of the Home is an online magazine for families that focuses on creating with children, nature explorations, seasonal celebrations, conscious parenting, and mindfulness in all that we do. To learn more about us, please visit us on Facebook,Pinterest, and Twitter.
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