What I Love About My Community

It’s been a BUSY and warm week, yet filled with lots of great things. Fabulous people & wonderful inspirations!  Today, after walking back from Pathmark, I was just overjoyed at how much I love this little corner of Newark. Here’s a few reasons why I love my community:

– waiting as bus-stops

– Migid (sp?) banging on my door, asking if Sean’s home. “I want to make homemade tortillas with him.” Upon finding out Sean’s at work, he offered to take out my trash, or “put some of that stuff away if you tell me where it goes!” – for a small fee of course. Alas, we settled upon a cup of iced tea (he magically produced his own cup AND straw), with a pat on the head. He was off!

– how dirty it is – with so much room to become beautiful

– how everyone walks around half-naked when it’s 100 degrees. All shame is left home!

– because I can walk to the grocery store

– that on my way home, with winds that promise rain, people shout things like, “You gonna get your second shower!!!”

– when cops pull up beside me cycling and say, “You’re getting there faster than me.”

– when drivers insult me, cut me off, and hit me with their cars because they don’t like cyclists??? or are angry? bad drivers?

– when I run into 2 of my kids at Pathmark (it’s Newark “walmart” apparently). Their baffled faces delight me.

– I love chatting with those two young men about the weather, Ironbound’s pool, what bus they take, that ice cream’s on sale, how you don’t wanna go into debt, how you gotta be creative about how you make money and spend your time, why I teach at their school. . . MM!

– the brokenness

– that so many people around me are in need.

– how this place drags out the horrible parts of myself –  my soul even –  and forces me to flesh out my beliefs about life, about neighbors, about communities.

– how birds ‘bathe’ in the dirt pile

-how my garden won’t grow because they delivered tough soil

– that there’s always more trash to pick up

– that three middle schoolers sit on our front steps after school. Shoot the breeze, flirt with each other, clean up after themselves, and move aside when I walk up the stairs.

Mostly, what I love about my community is the open, curious hearts of people. They are so ready to be loved.

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