Saturday: I spent the day figuring out how to Sheetrock our tenant's ceiling (the consequence of a plethora of plumbing troubles I won't bore you with).As I crouched and tugged at a ferocious clump of crabgrass, a family strolled by, looking intently at our house and talking amongst themselves. The father said to me:
Sunday: I dodged raindrops and weeded the front yard, amassing a serious heap of dead greenery. (We're new to gardening and didn't quite understand this weeding thing. With the summer rains, our neglected yard was rapidly returning to its primal state, but I've discovered I actually like weeding, and it's much better now.)
"It come out good, man.”It was the most recent of many compliments I’ve received from all sorts of folks as I rooted around the yard in our all-sorts-of-folks neighborhood: grandmas shuffling by in their slippers (“gettin' it right”), mustachioed burn-outs from down the block (“you got a nice house, man”*), shirtless dudes in headphones (thumbs up), and a gamut of other nameless neighbors.
I like that sense of shared pride, that a step forward by any of us is a step forward for all of us, that we're all in the same boat** as we make the slow climb back from flooded ruination. (I'm the same way. I murmur some eager affirmative to myself—"alright"—every time I see a newly gutted house or a newly tended yard.)
* With “man” rendered burn-out-style à la Jeff Bridges in The Big Lebowski”, a drawn-out nasal “m-a-a-a-n”.
** Though “boat” may not be the best metaphor. “All in the same below-sea-level trough”? Hmm, doesn’t quite resonate...