Next Door Neighbour has been there for a few years now, but he’s the second in a series of never-seen-never-home-does-he-really-exist owners in that location, so there haven’t been many conversations over the fence over the years.  We know his first name, and have a vague idea of what he does for a living – someone’s comings and goings are hard to ignore when the houses are three feet apart.

His yard gets a little wild this time of year – wilder than most. We don’t say much, because there are times our yard borders on the absolutely-neglected as well, and we can understand a lifestyle where pushing a lawnmower around the back 40 doesn’t rank very high on the priority list. Not everyone is cut out for manicured flower beds, edged sidewalks and carefully tended perennials.

However, a few weeks ago, it appears that Next Door Neighbour acquired a room-mate of the relationship-type. There’s been a few more signs of life than usual, and a little more in-passing conversation. Yesterday, the backyard was getting hacked and raked and weeded. Later on, I noticed the two of them standing on their back sidewalk.

Their back was to me, but the stance was so familiar. The two of them stood, arm in arm, and gazed at the acreage, exchanging quiet conversation. There was some sweeping gesturing and pointing. It was cute.

And it struck me that I am familiar with that pose. To stand, side by side, and survey what’s yours. To take a joint apparisal of what you are responsible for, to discuss what it is, what you’d like it to be, what it could become. To describe enthusiastically your vision to another person, and listen, just as enthusiastically, to the other’s mind’s eye as well.

It’s a couple thing. In twenty years, how many times have we adopted that we-can-tackle-this-together position, and then moved on into the fray? I never realized, until yesterday, how universal this must be among couples. It’s kind of reassuring really. And a pretty neat part of being married.

And now you all think I’m a creepy stalker who stares at the neighbours out the window. But I’m not, really. For how can one write about the world if one does not look at it every now and then?


One Response to “Rituals”

  1. slsherwood Says:

    I’m not so worried about you being a creepy stalker as I am about your delusion that you have acerage. You have a postage stamp!

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