Sunday, June 21, 2009

The neighbors.

One of the best things about living in a neighborhood is having neighbors. Not "pound on the ceiling" or "share sound through the floors and walls" neighbors, but let the smells of their barbecue and the cries and laughter of their children offer comfort and smiles in the midst of my quiet and largely independent existence.

Last week I watched as the mom and dad attempted to sprawl on a blanket in the Sunday afternoon sun while their children played, only to play referee between the stubborn toddler and poorly communicating older-toddler. They baby would scream. A parent would mediate. Silence would follow...for about 30 seconds. Later I looked out to see the older girl climbing on her father as he lay motionless on the blanket, face down. They were together...perhaps not in peace, but together.

One afternoon I saw one of the children, whose crib is near a second story window facing my own, peering out the window in search of excitement. The drapes would move back and forth as she sought entertainment despite her entrapment.

It's not so far from their yard to my second story window. The night air carries glimpses and phrases from their conversation...eavesdropping that is largely unintelligible and shortlived, yet comforting in an odd sort of way.

They sit out again this evening, in collapsible camping chairs around a fire pit modestly aglow, wafts of charred branches distracting my senses. Their children must be in bed...their day must be coming to a close...and they sit and enjoy the coolness of the evening, and the company of one another.


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