Welcome All! I'm a dreamer, I hope you are too! A Posse ad Esse, or From possibility to reality, is a general state of mind. I hope you'll share your possibilities with me as I will with you. Namaste~

July 11, 2008

Take the time.

I've learned a lesson this week that I am bound and determined to not forget. So I thought that I would pass it on to you.
Early in the week my wife and I were taking a walk around our block and noticed one of the houses for sale. Apparently it had been for sale for some time and we had just missed it. Allow me a moment for a bit of background. The people who moved into this house did so at just about the same time as we did nearly 4 years ago. During that time we have slowly built our garden up little by little over the years. In fact we were one of the only visible gardeners on the block (other than, of course, the token flower beds and such) or at least on our end of the block. You see on the other end, the home in question was slowly becoming the other gardening home. Anyway, that said, we to this point had spent the years walking by this home as we went around the block and slowly watching the garden grow and evolve. Many were the times that we said we needed to introduce ourselves, we admired the grape vines in one side yard and the raspberries in the other. And so it went until we're back to where I began this story, with us noticing that the home was for sale.
So now we decide we ought to go up there and say hello before they start having offers and move. Maybe we can have the opportunity to get to know someone new before they leave. It just so happens we see someone working in the back yard strawberry patch so we make our move. As it turns out, it's a guest from Austria and she invites us up to meet one of the owners, Nadia, from Russia. We introduced ourselves, telling them where we lived. She knew the house, and commented on our gazebo. We talked about our gardens and how we kept meaning to say hi. Then the lesson. Their home had already sold and they are moving in a week. We had missed our chance to really get to know these really nice people. Why? Because we waited, we kept telling ourselves we'll do it "sometime". I tell you there's no better time than the present to take action.
I've talked a lot lately about some of the things that I've been trying to do to put myself out in the community a little more. I've started a local garden group and taught a course in organic gardening, albeit an introductory one, attended and spoken up at local planning commission meetings as an advocate for urban chicken keeping and volunteered as a guide for a local sustainable building companies "green home tour". For all of this, I missed the most important thing, extending a hand and a smile and saying "Hi!".
This evening I had an opportunity to make amends to myself. There's a home near ours that we drive by on a regular basis. An older couple lives there, and likely have for many many years. They are on one of the few large lots (acre+) and have a fine vegetable garden in the back of their home. Countless are the times we've driven by the house and I always say I need to stop and introduce myself. Tonight I did! I had promised myself after the disappointment with my neighbors that I will not let the opportunity pass again. I talked with J~ about his garden, it's so much further along than mine or anyone else I know nearby, and learned a couple of good hints. We talked about his land and why he only works less than half of it. (It's not because of age, he seems quite able, but because when the nearby subdivision moved in they cut off his irrigation supply and limited him to a 1" secondary water line.)
I look forward to talking with him again in the future. He seems like he could be a great font of local growing information. More than that though, I feel a little more tied to my community. I'm happy for putting myself out there, and will make it a point to continue in the future. Learn my lesson; don't wait. Take the time to say Hi and make yourself known. These are the people we'll be living by and possibly depending on in the future.
Have a great weekend.


Thomas said...

I know exactly what you're talking about. A couple of houses in the neighbourhood comes to mind, where I see raised beds and fine vegetables. We talk about it every time we walk by, hey this looks like what we're doing. Inspiring post, I really should dare to go in and talk to them.

P~ said...

I've found that when I have gone out of my way to point out to someone that I admire their garden, or whatever it is, they are suprisingly receptive. Give it a try.