I am all over the place this morning because ” it’s a beautiful day in this neighbourhood, a beautiful day for a neighbour…” as Fred Rogers would sing in his gentle soft voice for many years as Mr. Rogers. Well today breathtakingly absolutely is a beautiful day. The sun is being perfectly kind in its spreading of its rays across the wintry landscape before me. Soft fluffy snow lays quietly on the fields and side of the road with the limbs of trees holding wondrously the new laden snow fall from the night before. Everything is quiet, silent. Don’t you just welcome the fragile look of nature in winter as Mother Nature does her thing!? An awakening to the new day with endless possibilities. It makes you want to smile, chirp like a bird, hug yourself tightly, swirl and twirl and yes, sing like Elsa “Aah Aah aah aahhhh” from Frozen 2.
Chuckling here. I have that song on the brain as my granddaughter has me turn it on from Disney Channel when she is with me during the week. I do not like too much TV but this I am okay with. She may be 18-months old but she can speak to me as she is wonderfully now saying words, two-syllable even!!!…with meaning; not bragging here. Nah. Yes I am. So smart. She sings ‘aah aah’ and points to the TV and has discovered the word “no” now. Yep, she has and even knows what it means. With emphasis too. Hahaha. Directs me to do her bidding. Gotta love babies and children.
Yesterday a precious gift was given to me by her actually. I did a Hail Mary to begin with as we went outside. The ramp into my home was slippery due to the still milder air not reaching the outside surfaces and rid the icy wintry coating. So there I was with my hand on the railing, my other hand holding her trusting hand, and trying to get her safely down. SuperRara to the rescue. Slapstick comedy….good thing there were no cameras. LOL. Fodder for America’s (scratch that) Canadian’s Funniest Home Videos.
Anyway we start to plod through the soft snow in the backyard and my granddaughter stops me abruptly. Her hand extends, waving it up and around, like a conductor of an orchestra. Not sure why until I notice. She sees a few snowflakes falling and her tiny hand with fingers spread wide reaches out to watch them fall on her hand. Points her little fingers to try and catch them And her beautiful little face….oh my she looks up, moving her head back and forth, eyes wide and dancing with laughter, as she lets the snowflakes fall on her scrunched smiley face. I did not see those flakes come but she did. She did. I watched her in stillness, taking in her joy not wanting to break the awareness of her world. What a beautiful day in the neighbourhood! Thank you.
Today, I just got back from a walk with Maggie May. Of course she sort of puts a wee bit of a damper in the beauty of the day….basically stopping every few minutes because the snow is crusting on her furry paws. Not a fan of the snow for walking. Yes Maggie May, soon you will be getting a dog cut. Hahaha. Take that. Me, I wanted to wrap myself into the morning beauty. And oh my goodness, the temperature is just below 0’C, great day to just breathe in the fresh air. Clear blue skies, blankets of snow everywhere, and pureness of the morning dawn. Lovely. Thank you.
Last night going into Cornwall, near Charlottetown, I saw this sign on one of the businesses, not sure which one, and it read “Be safe. Be kind.” I have to say I like that message alot. I am seeing it or some reference to how we are being called to love thy neighbour. Because it is about community, living in community with others, now more than ever. If nothing else we are learning to wrap our heads around the true meaning of working together during times of uncertainty. Changing habits. It reminds me of a blessed time a few years ago when I got to experience working in community, side by side, with my neighbour. For whatever reason, and I did it twice, I was part of a mission trip to Kenya in helping to build part of a school to support two of the Kipsigis communities in the Rift Valley close to Nairobi. Talk about a beautiful day(s) in the neighbourhood and neighbour. Life-changing. And kindness, it took on a whole new meaning, including one of the most beautiful words in Swahili called out to us along the rocky dirt road each morning as we made our way to school sites…Jambo.
It is funny how one thing reminds me of another which reminds me of another. My grandson invited me to his kickboxing last week. I am telling you, how has he grown so fast!? This little munchkin, just a few short years ago, was traipsing along as fast as his little feet and body could go, just like his sister who is just beginning that. And his younger cousin who has just started to begin the climbing, walking, falling, and repeat. And now as I look at this young boy, tall like his dad, moving with speed and attention….who would have thought?? Blessed that these classes can still go on, as it takes a village to raise a child, practices of safety allow the gift of being free to engage in the world of kick, hit, sweep, jab, cross, slip, undercut, hook….yeah does not really sound too beautiful. But hey it is to him and he looks beautiful in his movements on the mat. Just stop practicing on me afterward, my little one. Just saying.
I am really hoping at some point that the neighbourhood can come alive again with its neighbours but with the respectful learning too. There is so much in being part of a neighbourhood and neighbour, the gifts and promises are endless if you but let them in. I feel the whole notion of woulda shoulda coulda mentality needs to be let go. Have to find away to make peace with our lived life recently and be ready when it comes. Kindness matters and patience is a virtue and hold your horses. How does one come to singing aloud “its a beautiful day in this neighbourhood” again? How to open up the doors appreciating what is before you? Recognizing the ‘hood’ and all the crazy parts of who is my neighbour….yes the failings of others…the jones and the smiths…the makeup of behaviour….safety. Yes. Yes. Yes. Oh but the list goes on.
Mind you I am the first one to say, I have a tendency to be sort of hermity in nature (not a word but it works for me). So I go to my goto…faith. As we are called to give witness, on this beautiful day, “love your neighbour as yourself” Mt 22:39 In a nutshell, that’s it. It’s that old saying where you go to the neighbour “to borrow a cup of sugar”. It is another way of saying, “hey neighbour, look at me.” Not just to borrow and save on resources but it is making a connection, opener to conversation, or just to talk with someone anyone people. Well, I guess I have some knocking to do…I do not care for a cup of sugar (not healthy) or flour (do not really bake) or coffee (never had it) or some eggs (I have some). Maybe my neighbour has a cup of broccoli (forgot on my grocery list). Hey that works.
Blessings today on this beautiful day in the neighbourhood.
Let us pray for those who need our prayers and the company of others.