Saturday, August 13, 2011

Neighbors

I mowed the lawn on this gorgeous day. In a reversal of roles, I mowed the lawn and dh fed the kids lunch and cleaned the kitchen. It works for us. I like the hour and a half of alone-ness, the buzz of the mower and blaring playlist from my mp3 player mean no interruptions, and I get some exercise. Dh gets more time with the kids and to gain an appreciation for how my days go. It felt good to get out after the heat has kept us indoors the last few weeks.

As I was mowing, I came across this little scene:

It is part of an elaborate world my girls make for themselves in our backyard. Their imaginings keep them busy for many an afternoon. It reminded me of how I now have my own "world" that keeps me quite busy. I seem to always be trying to get it just right. It sometimes takes so much to keep everything running smoothly (ok, I'm not sure we've seen smooth in quite awhile) that I get caught up in project after project that I forget the world around me.

We live in this house that I strive to make a home. Our little bubble away from the hustle and bustle of the world, a safe refuge from storms. It can be easy to forget that this street is lined with families, each with their own struggles, their own stories, their own lives.

Today we found out that our next door neighbor, a man who told me he was so happy to have our swingset near his fence so he could listen to our children play, a man who takes the girls and helps them pick his excess tomato crop to bring to us, a father and a grandfather, a husband of many years, has only two to four weeks to live. As I mowed the lawn I watched a seemingly endless line of friends and family go in and out of their house. I imagine the next few weeks will see quite a bit of that.

Somehow I was brought back to that little world my children created, and the seemingly bigger world I try to create, and the even bigger world that has been this man's life. I wondered if God saw his life with the affection I felt towards those little reminders of my children's endeavors.

 I will be praying for him, for his wife, and his family.

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