I went to an informational meeting for non-profits today. I was surprised at the end as a woman looked at my nametag: “Oh, I went to the pet blessing at your church last year and we loved coming. We live there in the neighborhood” Me: “Oh, it was like the ark this past fall, all rain! We had it inside. We missed seeing our neighbors. That whole weekend in October was way wet!”
We got to talking at the end of our tour.
She: Did I maybe see you out before Christmas on the corner waving?
Me: You did! I was out that day and have been out there a bunch since. Hoping to spread some joy…
Okay, I may have gotten a bit chatty after that talking about what spurs me on, the gift of meeting the bicyclists and dog walkers. I talked about the investment I’ve really started to feel for the neighbors and the blocks.
It was such a surprise and joy to make the connection out and about in Columbia. This was my first time having such a conversation with a neighbor away from Vantage Point.
Later in the afternoon, I was back at Running Brook and walked to the very bright corner. I am so used to waving on the corner that I don’t always know what to do on my walks to and from. I do a little waving. Sometimes folks wave at me. There’s something about the little stretch of land that eases me into the ballooning.
Inevitably some of my more lengthy connections happen when I am not out by the intersection. I ran into a neighbor I had met previously with her trusty canine as I exited my post at the end of my time. I met her friend, too, and we struck up a conversation about environmental concerns in town. I got to talk about some of the passions of folks at KC about creation care. We are likely to meet at some point to talk more about envirnomental efforts that are being make in Columbia.
I look forward to seeing my neighbors out and about. Whether far out in this larger community, or right there as I travel to and from my post– I feel the strength of connectivity and the joy that comes when you start to meet and get to know those who reside so close.