The Fire Next Door
4. Donald’s savings bonds, and other important papers, were strewn across our yard as a result of the fire. A day later, someone looking in on our pets called me and asked if I wanted her to go around our yard, pick up the papers, and find Donald.
5. Sadly, weeks earlier, a woman down the street discovered she has cancer. I hear that every neighbor across various streets has signed up to bring food over.
It’s easy to be nostalgic about neighborhoods. But I don’t mean to be. I grew up in two strong neighborhoods, one in New York City, the other in Upstate New York. Both had their moments – I remember vividly the arguments, fistfights, dog fights, and some people who generally disliked one another. But in those places, as in my neighborhood now, people went out of their way to help each other when in need.
Unfortunately, it takes loss sometimes to recognize goodness. Then, the trick is not simply to celebrate it, or try to hold onto to it, but to do your own part, however small.