We have a pretty tight neighborhood. A lot of things have gone into that sweet mixture. None of us are exactly alike, but yet there is the common grounds that matters the most. I’d say some of it comes from community that just plain values the personhood of everyone on the hill. Well that, and we do love a hearty Fourth of July celebration, tracking the latest coyote prowlings, duck crossings or Bald eagles nesting- we love the network of neighbors who offer their latest cooking nummy, or watch our house when we’re gone… or our kids, or our seniors…. or share the latest home brew. We’ll link arms in a heartbeat when something threatens that.
Maybe one of the more significant strong threads that holds us together, is a Harvey.
Harvey has lived here longer than a lot of us, and most of us have been here for a while (who wants to leave this neighborhood?).
If you bump into Harvey, he always has an observation about something. Something you didn’t know about your hill before. The kind of thing that after you say good-bye and head off back to home, you realize you’re just a little more connected to the things that matter for your hill. And I don’t mean gossip.
He’ll let you know the reason why if there’s a neighbor who’s been quiet for a while. Like cancer. Or have you stop to appreciate an exceptional tree in someone’s yard- then point out where there are others. Or, in my case- and how I appreciated him during those years- the stink eye when one of my lead-footed sons didn’t think he was roaring down the street around the corner “that fast.”
Harvey loves a lot of things- his family, salmon fishing, a freshly mown lawn, a pile of firewood for the winter and his dog. Dogs, “they’re just good friends.” Lily is a no-nonsense girl. Friendly and smart- which means her job is to walk the good walk. And bark, but only on occasion.
Neighbors scramble to join them on some of the daily walkabouts. I love a coffee house and good friends, but this trumps that. Our neighbors aren’t an “out of sight out of mind” (thanks Faye for this shot!). Community is our extended family. How sad it is when people don’t make that effort to invest in that connection.
So if you don’t have a Harvey, be one.
One that’s not compromising but not looking for a fight.
One that just knows the things that makes us stronger.
The one who is trustworthy and will look you in the eye over the things that matter.