Monday, September 6, 2010

A Good Day

I think it would be safe to bet that almost every Mission Year person DREADS Saturday neighborhood outreach days. For some reason, leaving your house on a Saturday to spend intentional time with neighbors seems hugely daunting. Naps, movies, and snacks always seemed much more appealing. But this past Saturday, I walked around my empty "suburban" neighborhood and sat at a playground for about 2-3 hours to which no family or children came, and cried. I missed knocking on the doors of my neighbors and inviting myself in just to sit with them and talk for hours. I missed sitting on the steps with Miss Joyce and Miss Pat watching and commenting on the cars and people that go by. I missed puddle jumping with Anaira and holding Nay Nay and Mia in my lap as they talked my ear off about what they were doing in school. I missed sidewalk chalk, swings, little kid bicycles, hoses, snowball fights, random cookouts, coloring, and Hannah Montana. My first Saturday back in New Jersey and I didn't see a single person almost all day. It was heartbreaking to me. I thought about how much doing life in a year long program changed me. So much so that I'm finding it hard to work out how to live life outside of it now. 

Fortunately for me, Ellen came to visit me Saturday evening and stayed till this afternoon. We laughed so much it hurt and mourned the loss of our Mission Year together through many conversations, much sharing about what was in our hearts, and relying on the comfort of our friendship and deep understanding of one another. It was really good for my heart to speak to someone who understands what I'm feeling and who I know is so much on my side and for me. As a part of her visit, we went to our MY neighborhood and tried to see as many of our neighbors as possible. It was amazing. We spend Sunday evening and all day today with them. It was wonderful to see everyone again. It has only been a month, I know, but sometimes it feels like so much longer. Some of it was sad. It was hard to see how the neighborhood is already changing. People are moving and new people are moving in. The landlord is as negligent as ever. Maybe in a year nothing will be the same. I suppose that is what happens in this adult life. People change and don't stay where I leave them like I wish they would. This city has changed me and will continue to. I am excited for and afraid of those changes. But in this present moment, it was a really good Saturday on this Monday.  

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