Today I baked my vintage Christmas cookies all day long with my daughters and a dear friend. We had all the trimmings of it including the Christmas movies, the Christmas music, the snacks, and the frilly bows to wrap the plates of Christmas cookies. During the day, my sweet friend and her mother stop by to visit.
It occurs to me that I not only know my neighbors; I know their out-of-town parents. It occurs to me that this particular mother has known my daughters since they were first starting school, and over the years, she’s reminded me of Italian Christmas traditions like the the Feast of the Seven Fishes, the pizzelles, and the homemade ravioli. I suddenly miss the original Italian Mama so very much since she has moved down south.
As I wrap bows on the plates of cookies, I think about these neighbors who have children now grown up. I think about my one child at a birthday party with all the children and mothers I know. Here I am in this house, on this street, in a place I’ve almost lived in longer than any other place I’ve ever lived (I’m a military child).
It feels precious, undeserved, deeply authentic, soul-nourishing, and how life should be lived to be here in community with people–something I never had.
But now I do. I have it, and I have it marvelously.
If you’ve always had a neighborhood, you’ll find it silly and overplayed that I obsess over mine. But if you never had a neighborhood and then you do, it will fill your heart with so much joy that you’ll blog about it all–the walking to school, the Saturday morning pancakes with a neighbor who comes in her pajamas, the walks in the woods. . .
My baking friend leaves for one of the Nutcracker performances down the road, and my husband leaves to borrow some tools from his friend. I push a plate of cookies into his hands to give to that family, and then remind my daughters to practice their piano for their recital that will take place in a little cottage in our valley next week.
I never had a community like this, and now I do. So this is why I blog about our street year after year. Thank you for loving it–needing it–like I do.