My afternoon walk around the block was a feast for the senses.
After working on my to-do list all morning, I decided to take a quick walk around the neighborhood. The weather was so beautiful, and the neighborhood so still, that I slowed my pace and began noticing the things around me.
Perfectly clear blue skies.
The warmth of the sun on my face.
The sound of birds chirping.
The smell of fall in the air.
“What about ‘taste’?” I wondered.
One glance at the homes around me provided the answer.
Let me explain.
I’ve lived in this neighborhood for 17 years. These days, it’s rare to live in a neighborhood for so long. Those 17 years have provided me with wonderful memories of my neighborhood.
Neighbors come and neighbors go, but the homes they inhabited while they lived here remain, as do the memories I have of them.
Take, for instance, M___’s home with the festive Christmas lights that they carefully put up each year, much to the delight of my children;
W___’s home, where I attended a book club with a group of women from church and chatted until late in the evening about my favorite books;
P___’s home, where the massive tree blew over during a wind storm, and where countless volunteers went to help clean up the mess;
J___’s home, where I admired their newly-painted RED kitchen cupboards (They looked awesome!);
H___’s home, where I attended a kitchen party and ordered my favorite stoneware;
S___’s home, where we splashed in the pool and visited for hours, our kids playing together like best friends;
A____’s home, where I took birthing classes in preparation for my firstborn;
C___’s home where we celebrated a friend’s newly adopted baby;
K___’s home, where they taught our family about their homeland, India;
T___’s home, where we visited together monthly;
B___ and J____’s homes, the ones with immaculate yards;
L___’s home, where we began a decade-long friendship;
W___’s home, where we met for an occasional community meeting; and
and finally (This is where the ‘taste’ comes in…)
H___’s home, where we enjoyed delicious meals and great conversation together over the years;
C___’s home, where we picked citrus from their tree;
C___’s home where we celebrated a newly adopted baby and ate dessert to our heart’s content;
Then there’s the neighborhood park with its thousands of memories: family walks, ball games, frisbee, picnics, birthday parties, trike and bike rides with the kids, neighborhood meetings, visits with friends, school activities, rolls down the grassy hill, playing in the sand, games of tag, pushing kids on the swing.
I can’t forget the sweet, ripe figs on our neighbor’s tree.
The smell of dinner cooking in neighboring houses.
The sound of an occasional dog barking.
The smell of a barbeque on a cool evening.
The laughter of children playing outside.
The taste of vegetables from the garden.
The airplanes flying overhead.
Crickets chirping in the evenings.
The smell of the flowers in springtime.
The rain falling in droves.
17 years of memories came flooding back to me as I strolled through my neighborhood today, memories that touched on all five of my senses–sight, touch, sound, smell, and taste.
Memories that have, in large measure, made me who I am today.
Memories that, to me, are priceless.
Day 13 Challenge: Take a stroll around the block today and rediscover the priceless memories that have been made in your neighborhood in the time that you have lived there. In what ways have your neighbors and the experiences you’ve had in your neighborhood contributed to who you are today? Consider what positive memories you might make in the future with your neighbors and in your neighborhood.
This is Day 13 of my Write 31 Days series for 2017: 31 Days to an Authentic Life.
For an index of all the posts in the series, please click HERE.