“[B]eing a member of a community isn’t about…how I feel about any place I have lived, nor about my fear of isolation in a new city. It is about the neighbor I choose to be in the community I wind up calling my home.”
–Arthur C. Brooks, from a 2018 NYT article entitled “How Loneliness is Tearing America Apart”
And that was pre-pandemic!
It’s citrus season here in Southern California. And one beautiful thing about my own neighborhood and environs is that people are leaving out baskets and baskets and bins and bags of fantastic oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, and lemons, free for the taking.
The front-yard gardens and flowers are foaming. The fragrance of roses, pittosporum, jasmine, iris, and sage drift through the streets. The haze on the San Gabriel mountains is from heat, not smog. People say hi and thank you for ceding the sidewalk so as to observe the six-feet rule.
My own garden continues to stun. The neighbors come to wander, sit, sniff, ooh and aah, make their own gardens.
I’ve put away the down comforter and taken out my summer nightgowns. The other day I made a pitcher of iced tea for the first time since September.