Jennie and her husband Jason moved in last summer with their two preschoolers. Art and I have been so busy working all these years that we've never done much more than say hello to our neighbors. With Jennie and Jason we're sharing a garden space, eggs from their chickens, chain saws, repurposed wood, downed trees and home-baked cookies. When we're out of town, Jennie and Jason feed our potbellied pig and our cat; when they're gone, we feed their chickens and feed and walk their dog.
As I transition from work to home, the prospect of sharing lives and time and resources with neighbors feels like a reward. I noticed last summer that when I was working in the garden, neighbors on walks would stop to chat. It was such a treat - much more interesting than being inside on the computer.
I was worried at first that I'd be lonesome when I quit work. But as June 25 - my last workday - grows closer, I can see I'm already paying attention to my neighborhood community. It doesn't feel so much like quitting work any more. It feels like moving on.