Practically every day I go out for a walk through my neighborhood, if I’m lucky some days I go twice. It has been my solace since quarantine began because it was the only way I got to see anyone (I live alone). I love to be outside, I love to walk and I love to observe. Let me tell you a bit about my neighborhood…
The street I live on is very stereotypical; it is a broken brick road with houses on both sides, some big and some small but all loved. When I turn onto the main street it’s dotted with manicured green trees and perfectly sectioned out yards. Each house has flowers that the inhabitants meticulously water and care for. As I continue to walk the houses are spaced farther apart and the yards become bigger. Some houses are older and others are newer, some have big front porches where families gather as the sunsets. Trees become bigger and wilder, freer like in the countryside, towards the end of this street it almost feels like I’m walking through a forest.
The sun speckles through the giant leaves as the wind bristles past. There’s a house that looks like it could be Grandma’s cottage, another that used their gifted time to build a beautiful new deck and another that is hidden between the trees with a turret covered in stone and ivy.
People smile and wave to each other, dogs wag hello and children run screaming through their yards and it all sounds like summertime. Neighbors gather on sidewalks to reunite and others invite you over to enjoy their fire pit. Laughter fills the air like the scent of all the wildflowers blooming everywhere.
There’s a house with a giraffe with fancy antlers lit up, a dragon that protects another and carved lions and bears that proudly announce their houses. Signs welcome everyone from different nationalities and thank the essential workers who take care of us. Birds have five different feeders to choose from and cats sit staring, silently judging me as I pass by.
We may not be the best neighborhood and I may not know all the dirt, but I know we have families that built a food donation hut that overflows from all the contributions and outside a little girl’s home sits the handmade lending library nook built last summer to share their books with the masses. Drivers stop so I can cross streets safely and parents walk their children to the bus stop still. We’re not perfect but we support each other the best way we know-how. And this is my home.