“Silly goose!” C. called out to me as I knit by the light of the street lamp. It was 10 pm. I had 30 more minutes left. She came and sat by me, dangling a paper coffee cup between her hands. We talked about novels we had read and loved, most recently, for me, “Broken for You,” a book that made me weep with the perfectly imperfect characters that inhabit it. I told her I was sorry for making her dinner grow cold last night, and that she was the living definition of a good neighbor. She told me, “Not at all, it was a moveable feast.”
I finished knitting, picked up my camera, and played one of my favorite night-time games. Take a photo of a light while waving your camera hand wildly. It creates these painterly lines that are unpredictable and so free.
I wanted to gush my gratitude to my neighbor for using her quiet push mower instead of a noisy gas one. Clippety clippety clip. It took a long time but it was good exercise. I finally got my wish of an hour of quiet knitting on a Sunday afternoon. I felt an intuition to say hi to the neighbor so I walked over and chatted with her. She and I have not spoken since I started knitting this year. No reason we hadn’t talked, I just hadn’t seen her. She went back to mowing, and I started my knit. The Bay was turned to shining points of light from the rays of the late afternoon sun.
Later, my neighbor sat with me on the bench. She had locked herself out. What could have been a disaster turned into a party as we headed up to D. + C.’s house to visit on their front steps while the dinner that D. was cooking turned cold. A friend showed up with the key, and all was magical for 10 minutes of excited chatter as we caught each other up on neighborhood news. Call me crazy if you like, but I really feel that the knit line had brought us together one more time.
And that is the kind of daily miracle that life is made of–the magic can strike at any time, often during the most dark circumstances. I was walking down one of the ugliest streets in Bellingham that same day–a street lined with warehouses, chain link fences, and tentworm-infested cherry trees–when suddenly the sound of a bagpipe arose, and aroused me.