My neighbors, for the most part a quite people. I rarely see them. When our paths happen to collide, we give the occasional wave. In fact, the only time we really exchange pleasantries is during Halloween when Laila is casing the neighborhood begging for candy.
When we first moved to the neighborhood, I was disappointed that no one ever came over to introduce themselves. I can remember taking Laila outside with the hopes that I would "accidentally" see one of them so that I could introduce myself; however, that never happened.
Our neighborhood, much like our neighbors, is also very quiet. Well kept, middle class homes are scattered along tree lined streets. People walk their dogs early in the morning, kids ride their bikes up and down the hills during the afternoon, and the occasional jogger can be seen in the evenings.
And although our eyes meet, we don't know one another's names, triumphs, or struggles. Our worlds, though so close to one another, remain entirely separate...until last month.
December 14th, greeted us with a sufficient amount of snow and bitterly cold temperatures. It was the day of Laila's 6th birthday party, and our neighborhood roads were not cleared. Brent and I stressed over if we would be able to get out of the neighborhood safely. Should we try? Should we reschedule the party?
Before making a final decision, I went to the living room window to take one last look at Mother Nature's damage. In our driveway, stood my neighbor. A man that I have never spoken to. He stood with shovel in hand and proceeded to shovel our driveway, as well as a section of the road in front of our driveway. I went outside and thanked him. Because of my neighbor's kindness, we were able to make it out of our hilly driveway and to Laila's birthday party. She was a very happy six year old.
For this Act of Kindness, I was inspired by an Amelia Earhart quote: “No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves.”
I wanted my neighbor to know that his kindness did have an impact on me and that his actions were sincerely appreciated, so I decided to pack up a sweet treat for him and his family.
With the possibility of more snow tonight and -20 wind chills, I thought some delicious hot chocolate (My friend Rachel has me hooked on the Peppermint kind) and chocolate treats would be a nice way to express my gratitude and possibly build a friendship.
As I walked back to my house, I smiled. One kind action certainly does lead to another. We never really know who our kindness reaches and where our impact ends.
I sincerely hope that this may be the start of a new neighborly friendship. It's good to have friends, and friends with snow shovels are even better, especially on a night like tonight. :)