When John and I moved into our new neighborhood this summer, I reminded myself that I would be extra vigilant in knowing my neighbors; not in a busy body way, but in a caring communal sort of way. If we know our neighbors it is easier to take care of one another. I have had a lot of fun getting to know the people in our growing neighborhood. The more we know about our neighbors the less fear there is and the opportunity for more fun in the sharing of life together.
One of my favorite people, and new friend Brenner, came to my door just a couple weeks after we had moved in, bringing her mother and sisters along with a plate of delicious blueberry muffins they had baked. I’m not sure but I think Brenner fell first in love with my dogs, Mercy Bea and Rootie Patootie Punkin Pie.
A few weeks went by and Brenner found her way back to my door with her friend Sydney, asking if they could take my dogs for a walk. They told me that they were raising money to give to the Humane Society. Boom. Yes, please! Mercy Bea is a Golden Doodle with lots of energy and needs the attention and the exercise, while Rootie Patootie is a miniature poodle who likes to be held while she “walks.” Most weeks, the dogs get walked 5-6 days a week and I am happy to pay. More than that I am blessed to get to know Brenner and Sydney, what lovely young ladies with serving hearts and gentle spirits.
This week, Brenner’s mom sent me a note saying she thought that I might like knowing exactly where the money was going that Brenner and Sydney earned. Just for the record, I did not know the girls were giving all the money away, I thought they deserved to keep some for themselves. In my inbox is a picture of Brenner, sitting next to a little dog named Chance, who had been hit by a car and had a broken leg along with other injuries. The girls have been giving their dog walking money to help pay for the vet bills for this little dog, which no one claimed.
These girls are teachers of kindness and compassion. The world is full of goodness and love; just be on the lookout. Get to know your neighbors, everyone has a story. It is easy to get bogged down by negative stories from the news and social media. But right next door, I am willing to bet, there are neighbors living with wonderful stories to share, that will inspire you to live more communally and with hope.