We've had a nice little stretch of lovely weather and I've been soaking it up out on our little patio. That's when this happened:
I just sneezed out on the patio and my next door neighbor sad "bless you" and so did the kids playing in their front yard across the way!
Perhaps the point of this is that my sneezes are alarmingly loud. But that's not what struck me at the time. Sure, I was a bit embarrassed by the stereo response, but it was a sign of something important: neighborhood.
I live in a community of quadroplexes, which means that houses are connected in groups of four throughout the neighborhood with lots of shared green space. As a child I lived in an assortment of center-hall-Colonials with ample yards, front and back. It's taken me many years to come to terms with my current living arrangement: a big parking lot out front, tiny yards, shared walls with other residents.
But over time I have come to love our little house and the neighborhood it sits in. We know our neighbors. They know us. We keep an eye out for each other. We communicate online if we need something, or if something is amiss.
During the years I have lived in this house I have gone from being a mere resident to someone who is actively involved in community life. That's probably the most important shift of my adulthood. This little neighborhood turned me into a neighbor. And then a Village Board member. And a community activist. And a blogger.
Last night I visited a place which feels to me like another home. The Chrysalis at Merriweather Park in Symphony Woods. When I got involved in supporting the Inner Arbor plan I committed to being a part of a Columbia in a way I never had before. I feel like there's a little bit of my heart and soul there.
It's good to be home.
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