Every morning, the teapot whistles as dawn breaks over the apricot tree.
I’m not a troglodyte by any means, but broken laid the the coffee pot in a pile on the porcelain.
I open the curtains, then my laptop and set to work. I gaze off. The cat jumps on the table. I’m in her space, in the roundabout of her alone time; she lies her body on my keyboard.
The dog barks and a shadow falls in the driveway. I stretch to see. The dog rages in a riotous rendition of woofs and whines. I unseat myself and lean to see the stranger.
Perhaps an unknown neighbor walking his dog.
And five minutes later, the same.
Five minutes later, the same.
I’ve bragged I know my neighbors. I can name them all, along with their occupations, breed of dog, or children’s ages.
But who are these strangers sauntering across my sidewalk? From another street, another block? Newly homed workers, students, families.
We are sudden friends when I’m outside, a wave and polite hello, and how are you?
The neighborhood decided to put stuffed bears in windows for the children.
The neighborhood decided to go on sign hunts.
The neighborhood decided to share extra fruit from their trees, oranges, lemons, apricots.
What will happen after? When we all go back to work? Will the strangers now friends become estranged once again? Or will we then, having walked the tightrope together, come and gather, share, and wish each other well from less than six feet, without our masks and our gloves?
One thought on “Strangers in My Homeland”
Another great piece, Noreen. Crises can bring out the worst and the best in people. I’ve had neighbors I barely know give me their contact information in case I need help, and I reciprocate with my information. I’ve heard we may never return back to “normal”when this tragic chapter is over; all to often in our society normal includes isolation, lack of compassion and alienation. Not returning to that normality is not a bad thing.