I did some cat-sitting last weekend for a family that lives a few blocks away.
I only know these folks because I pass their house on walks, and they have an outgoing 8-year-old daughter who’s not shy about engaging passersby in conversation. When I ran into them last week, we got to talking and it turned out they could use some help with the cat while they were out of town.
Next thing I knew I had a job, a new feline friend, and a fair amount of cat hair on my jeans.
Why do I mention this? Because something that should be such an everyday kind of thing is, in my life, so rare. I don’t talk to my neighbors much, even though I work at home and take walks a couple times a day: We smile and wave and exchange a few friendly words now and then, but normally I just keep on moving. I’m busybusybusy, and I don’t have time to stop and engage with the people who live around me. If I did, I’d run the risk of getting caught up in a conversation that might last more than a few…