Sometimes I am absentminded. I will forget things. I am coming to believe that I have a limited amount of hard drive in my mind and things need to be downloaded for anything new to be stored. So I left my key in my truck and locked the door. Frankie and my kids were all unavailable for picking up my key from home so I thought it was a nice day for a walk.
My office is only three miles from my home but I drive everyday, sometimes 2-3 times in a day back and forth, but I have never walked it. In my truck the world passes by more like television then like reality. The windows provide a view of the world where I can be there, but unattached, unengaged and distracted with my own thoughts.
At first all I noticed was the cars whipping by too close for comfort. I noticed the garbage piled up on the fences, broken bottles and plastic remainders of a long ago accident. After another half mile I noticed the smells. I smelled trees and shrubs along the way, smelled the wet sand and pavement and many more things. Pine trees trimmed to allow someone shorter than six feet to pass uninterrupted shaded the sidewalk but I am one inch taller than that and so the needles brushed my hair back as I passed underneath. Wayne Newton’s ranch is on the way and I had the opportunity to stop and watch his horses and spindly-legged colts romp around in the sprinklers watering their dinner.
I walked through my own neighborhood enjoying the homes and smell of freshly mowed lawns. Neighbors said, “How’s it goin’” as I passed, we talked briefly. In my neighborhood park, kids were playing basketball and practicing soccer or just sitting in the grass enjoying the sunshine. It was a beautiful day … and I was in it. Let me say that again. It was a beautiful day and I was IN it. I wasn’t driving by watching it from my windshield … I was IN it.
Maybe being a little absent minded wasn’t too bad after all. Quit driving by your community and neighbors, get IN your community. Smell the smells, see the sights and walk the roads. That is one big step in turning a house into a home and turning a bunch of houses into a neighborhood.