My Neighbours Care

I have two stories to share. They are moments from a week of self-isolation. They are small moments but I’m stretching them out for as long as possible. I will forever store them in my repertoire of goodness. This is the first.

A dog was walking its owner along my street. A quiet, suburban street, I suppose. These days, dogs have biological prowess over us, for they are exempt from our current battle. They seem to know it, with their wagging tails and extra gait.

I notice dogs all the time, every day. They animate my world in ways that make other people think I am the dog lady. The chihuahua lady, worse still.

On this particular day of self-isolation, I noticed a dog outside my front gate. I went to greet it from afar until its owner conceded and gave permission for me to pat it. Typically, I slipped over and really hurt myself. I think I had forgotten how to walk anywhere, in the strange times of our shrunken street maps and lives.

I was lying on the ground hurt, and the man instinctively gave me his hand and helped me up. We both remembered the dangers of touch and we each did a frantic dance, shaking off each other’s germs. We smiled an amazed smile and restored the precise gymnastics of our physical distancing.

His instinct to help me make me happy. Irresponsible and reckless, yes. But that moment of kindness and connection momentarily eclipsed the anxiety. I love this neighbor and his dog from afar now. Thank you, kind man, for that human reflex. May my life forever be a dot-to-dot of momentary connection, dogs and kindness.

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