Every year in the fall we have a block party on our street. It was an idea a neighbor and I had for a long time, but we didn’t get it rolling until five years ago.
I coordinate this family friendly event each year, obtaining responses and cobbling together the list of dishes each neighbor will bring. Every year there are some who can’t attend and are disappointed. This year there are many and I’ve tried to encourage understanding. As I grumbled about this, one of my more astute neighbors offered up an insightful thought: the annual party is greatly enjoyed by all and when they can’t attend, they miss the opportunity to connect with the people around them and catch up with all that has happened the past year. I was immediately inspired and now no more comments from me about how I can’t know what is on everyone’s calendar!
After the fire pit has been lit and we are enjoying our yummy food, there really is an air of togetherness and caring. These people we wave vaguely at as we drive by everyday are really super nice! And they want to get to know us better. The evening flies by and we all don’t want it to end. Inevitably, someone suggests we should have more than one block party a year. I love that! Just not sure I want to be the one to put it together!
So, I never really thought about it until now, but this annual event is, in a small way, a purposeful give back for me. It helps encourage a closer community, provides neighbors with a sense of security, and brings people a lot of joy. I’ve learned my lesson and will really try to grumble less next year!