must surely go together?
Yesterday I had a phone call - from across our street. It was a neighbour saying his family had not seen me out and about during the lock down. He then said he was going shopping and wondered if I needed anything.
Now we are permitted to do essential shopping so I had actually been out very early the previous morning and replenished the supply of milk and bought some eggs and fresh fruit and vegetables. I think they were essential? I wore a mask. I used hand sanitiser and I didn't talk to anyone other than the girl at the check-out. She was, I think, genuinely concerned for my welfare as well. (I sometimes suggest books her older child can read for himself.)
So, I had been shopping. I didn't need anything and I didn't want to complicate the lives of my neighbours any further so I thanked him profusely and genuinely gratefully but said I could think of nothing.
What I could think of though was the importance of that call. I really did appreciate getting it. It was not merely a casual thought, it was genuine thoughtfulness. The weather was foul - we'd had hail and it was raining when he spoke to me - and I don't have a car. The neighbours had not seen me "out and about" in even the limited way which is allowed.
During the last lock down the weather was better and I was out each day. I did a circular trip on the trike. It was designed to check on people I know, people who mostly live alone. I could have phoned most of them - and did - but it also seemed even more important to actually see their blinds were up or that they had not fallen in their driveways.
Now that is just me. I feel guilty if I don't do that. I don't expect other people to do that sort of thing. There is no reason why they should but I do think it is important to be aware of what is going on either side of me. That doesn't mean I should interfere but if I know my neighbours and they need help then they can ask...just as I was asked.
There are people I know who do not know their neighbours. Their neighbours don't want to know them. Some people are just like that. We have to accept such things. Knowing neighbours doesn't mean intruding on them but it does mean being aware just in the way the neighbour yesterday was aware.
That call made me feel good. The Senior Cat phoned me a little while ago. I told him what he needed to know and he chatted for a moment. I told him how the neighbour had been in touch and I could hear the relief in his voice. I know he worries about me being here alone even though there is nothing either of us can do about it at present. That call from a neighbour has made all the difference. It has given us both that little mental boost that - someone else cares enough to ask.
I am very fortunate in my neighbours.