Like a good neighbour … : By Satish Sachdeva
There is nothing quite like growing vegetables in your very own backyard. The subtle play between the reds, yellows, and greens as a plant sprouts out its precious gift to the world. The blending of hues and shades, the changing of forms and shapes, as you painstakingly nurture something from the earth itself… Again, there is nothing quite like it. Among the many vegetables I like to grow, tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, and zucchini are my absolute favorites, especially in the summer when my children make a game of picking the delicious little treasures. They call it going shopping in the backyard, and they like to use sharing our vegetables as an excuse to visit our neighbors. It gives them the chance to feel independent by walking around on their own, even if it is just down the street. Naturally, their favorite neighbor is the one at the very end of the road.
It goes without saying that we love our vegetable garden, so when we were going to be out of town for a while during the summer, I asked said neighbor if he could tend the garden while were away. So as to not embarrass him, let’s just say his name is Mr. Smith. He happily agreed to lend a helping hand, and I was content knowing someone would be tending the garden while we were away. A few days after we got home, Mr. Smith approached me about the gate to our backyard. He explained that it was incredibly difficult to open properly. I couldn’t help but agree, the thing grinds up against the concrete and the post it’s attached to is far from secure, both things that Mr. Smith had observed. I explained to him that the gate had been that way since we had bought the house, and that we just dealt with it. Surprisingly, he offered to help me fix it. I believe Mr. Smith is over 70 years old, but he has always very active, given his age, so I graciously accepted his offer.
A hop, skip, and an hour later, I was standing in front of what might as well have been an entirely new door. I had watched in somewhat of an awe as my 70 plus year old neighbor gingerly disassembled, sanded, polished, screwed, unscrewed, and essentially rebuilt the gate to my backyard. I had never seen anything like it. The sheer craftsmanship as hands and tools melded together for a single purpose was mesmerizing. But, what really hit me was the raw enthusiasm with which he worked on a door that was not even his. Any random passerby would have seen him and for all they knew, he might as well have been securing the gate on his own house. I was moved. Sincerely. Utterly. Not only had he been kind enough to watch over our garden, but he had also gone above and beyond the title of neighbor to repair something he rarely receives the benefit from. In that moment, I considered myself truly lucky to have someone like Mr. Smith around, and especially proud to call him my neighbor.
Edited by : Carlos Barron