I had some sad yet happy news this last weekend. You know that feeling, when something good happens for a friend, and of course you are glad for them yet sad about the implications for yourself?
Some very, very good friends who are also neighbors are moving away. Away being a whole two miles away, not even across town--just a hop, skip, and a jump over to a different school zone, which will allow their son (who I held as a babe in arms) to attend the same excellent middle school as p'tit minou 2 (who can go there because his language immersion program tracks there) and eventually to the high school p'tit minou 2 attends (also because of the French program tracking in). It's an investment for them--they will keep and rent their current home, and live in the new home.
But I don't want them to move! It's a very special thing, to have friends who feel like family and live two blocks away up the hill. K. has always had the lovely habit of popping over (maybe from her years living in Latin America) for coffee, or to borrow sugar, or to bring us a piece of something delicious that she just baked. She also has a very unique and thoughtful perspective on the world. W. and Minou work in related fields and always have a lot to talk about. We all always have a lot to talk about. Travelling, art, languages, books, building, green architecture, politics, gardening, running, movies, food, friends, chickens, spirituality, child-raising...so many interconnections. We have gone trick-or-treating at Halloween, sledded down the hill on every snowy day, had countless potlucks, watched hundreds of movies, and celebrated many solstices together. We have picked a lot of strawberries, blueberries, and apples.
Their son C. has grown up along with the p'tit minous. He's eaten peanut butter sandwiches at our kitchen table for the last 10 years. He also has the lovely habit (maybe from his mom) of popping over, usually just at the moment when we need some distraction, asking if anyone wants to play.
Oh my gosh, I am going to miss them.
And it has me thinking about community. Of course, our friendship will persist. We will have to work at it with a little more intentionality--setting up times to see each other, rather than the spontaneous Saturday "let's combine what we have in our kitchens & get together" dinners.
But the value of creating community--if you live someplace where it is a part of the fabric of your life--realize how lucky this is. It develops over time. If it isn't there, think about the ways to nurture it, as we will now need to make more effort to do.