My car "blew up" on me yesterday. Not literally, but it ended up in the shop.
As a result, when the end of my day arrived, I found myself on foot.
I walked home from my office through the neighborhood where we live--five or six rather long blocks. No big deal.
But, then again, it was a very "big deal."
Funny, isn't it, how a change in routine or pace or method or speed puts things in a different perspective?
Normally, I drive home in a rush.
Yesterday, I walked home in the late afternoon, Texas heat.
I saw all the same things I always see, except this time I really noticed my surroundings.
My neighborhood is extremely diverse. All kinds of people live where I live. Pick the human classification, we have a bit of everything along these streets.
Lots of my neighbors walk everywhere. Many don't have cars. I saw people on bicycles--children and adults. I also noticed a large sample of thirty-year-old Chevrolets!
My neighborhood is poor and middle class.
It is old in years--my house, for example, is about 85, as are many of the surrounding homes.
I walked past single-family housing--large and small. Mixed in are a number of more recently constructed multi-family dwellings. Some of the housing was well-kept. Other homes needed varying degrees of attention.
The sidewalks are in pretty rough shape--many stretches need to be torn out and replaced. Not much chance that will happen in my part of the city anytime soon. The streets need sweeping and some trash needs picking up.
At the same time, I observed a young mother busily sweeping the porch and sidewalk of her small home, no doubt a rental property jammed up against several others. She seemed determined to keep her corner of the community in top shape. She reminded me of another woman I notice almost every morning on my way to work who sweeps the street in front of her apartment building.
The trees in our neighborhood are magnificent. It is as if the earth shouts, "I'm not giving up on this part of Dallas! You shouldn't either! Sit here in my shade awhile and see what you can learn!"
I set out on my walk home too late in the day to catch many kids on the way home from school, but I did see a few teenagers walking home. Some were friendly, some seemed to wonder what an old guy like me was so happy about!
I walked past a school; a great, old park; a well-worn tennis court; a basketball court; a baseball diamond whose outfield doubles as a soccer field that is in almost constant use; lots of barking dogs and numerous children playing, playing, playing.
I wasn't the only one getting home from work. Walking, driving, arriving--mothers and fathers, with and without children--folks were coming home after a day of labor.
My neighborhood has lots of challenges.
But my walk home gave me time to remember--this is a good place to live.
I am lucky to be surrounded by these good people.
What we need here is more time to get acquainted, more reasons to cooperate and a commitment to slow down more often and introduce ourselves to one another.
Lots of things need attention here. Many things aren't working as they should.
But, yesterday by just walking home and opening my eyes, I gained new hope.
People, attempting to simply live their lives, are amazing.
Announcement from Duke Memorial UMC
1 week ago