“Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out…”
~ Robert Frost, Mending Wall
Frost wrote good fences make good neighbors, but the one speaking was the one who wanted the wall.
Some neighbors don’t need fences. Some neighbors keep their doors unlocked. Some neighbors make sure we’re all connected just in case.
My neighbor invited me over after Thanksgiving dinner for fun; I had an open invitation Christmas Day. Every time I leave her home, I have food in one hand and contentment in the other.
When I moved in my new neighbors loved us, not because they knew us, yet. They loved us because the man who was here before was petty and mean and awful—he would have his neighbors cars towed, among other things.
I never needed a mending wall where I live.
One neighbor mows our lawn and fixed our fence for hardly anything; the neighborhood kids play outside together. Another knocks on my door when I leave the light on in my car on and another brings me leftovers after Thanksgiving.
Some women are matriarchs because of their strength and will and determination—others become one because their wing is big enough to tuck any one with need under it.
We all have challenges in life, right? The truth is, some of us get more than our share.
Yes, the saying is God only gives you what you can handle but the flip side of that is when disaster and trauma lands in your home what choices do you have? What mother wouldn’t do anything to help their children learn to fly?
Actually, there are parents who don’t go the full length of the field. I know there are. And there are others who would plant the field.
This neighbor has done more for more people than most people I know. She gives and gives some more. Good fences make good neighbors when the wall needs mending.
But good neighbors don’t always need a mending wall.
This song is my neighbor’s favorite song: Carly Simon, The Stuff Dreams Are Made of—I had never heard it before tonight—read these words and listen to Carly sing it below.
Don’t look at yourself in the same old way
Take another picture
Shoot the stars off in your own backyard
Don’t look any further
And you will see
It’s the stuff that dreams are made of….
And know in my neighborhood the stars that shine live in the homes near by.
I am a full time yoga teacher, trained at City Fitness in Washington, DC and Willow Street Yoga Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. I have been writing poetry since I was nine years old. Poetry is my first love and yoga continues to feed my heart. I write because I love it. I teach because I love it. I tell my students all the time: do it because you can. That works for me. I believe in creating opportunity. I believe in helping my self and others. I think faith is the most important gift of life, because when we lose everything else we still have that in our heart. I believe the natural state of being is happiness, or bliss, or Ananda. Life is a celebration. Poetry and yoga help me celebrate. Check out my blog and website here.
Ed: Bryonie Wise
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