Thursday, March 22, 2012

March 22 - Kitchen Sink

From where I stand at the kitchen sink, I can only see my own tiny garden world, contained within the hedge we planted here 10 years ago. Before that, I could see right onto the street as I stood there washing dishes and peeling potatoes. We had to wait some time for our little seedlings to grow and become a living fence to screen us from the road, and while we secured some level of privacy, we lost a bigger picture.

Back then, I could see cars drive up and down the street and watch my children play on the far corner with their friends. The neighbours and their business were on show for me with the regularity of a soap opera. They'd wave as they went past and I'd wave back from the little window at the kitchen sink.

Now my view is limited to what happens within the privet hedge. If I'm lucky, I'll see my kids race past onto better things, and even my own Beloved can pull into the driveway and I won't know about it until I hear the back door swing open.

Slowly, like the way your own kids shoot up taller than you but you don't realise until someone else points it out, our surroundings changed, and with that, came a subtle shift in our perspective.

Less about the whole street, and more about just us, it requires determination to not become lost in your own little world. To seek the ones around you, lost behind the hedge. To take yourself through the mess of green and out to those only a few steps away.

I want to be connected with those who share my road. To shoulder my way past what normally keeps my eyes glued to my feet, and lend a shoulder where it's needed. To knock on a door with an armful of peaches and know there's a friendly face to feed my chickens when we're away.

Fortunately, my writing room is upstairs. From where I sit most days, I can see my dear friends come and go. I see them walk their grandbabies up the street and through the hedge to visit my hen house and collect an egg or two.

And I'm glad for all my missed efforts and good intentions, the lost view does not keep good neighbours away. For they too, don't see us as well anymore, but still remember to knock on the door and say hello.

 For what you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing: it also depends on what sort of person you are.