One of the questions the disciples ask of Jesus is, “Who is my neighbor?” In our world of privacy concerns, this may be a good time to ask of each of us the same question. Years ago at a Rotary gathering in Erie, the presentation was entitled “Decks are our Problem!”
It was not a presentation on construction, but rather an analysis of the change in our culture. As I was growing up, we had an expansive front porch. One of the best days of the year was Memorial Day. It was the day the awnings went up, the porch rugs were unrolled, the furniture was washed and the cushions were retrieved from the attic. It was not long after this ritual opening of the porch that neighbors began to stop by in greeting as they walked their dogs, went home from work or just took a leisurely stroll. It was a time to “catch up” on family events, health concerns and just neighborhood stories.
Times have changed and we now have decks. The significant difference is that porches were on the front of the house and lent themselves to casual impromptu visits. They were a catalyst for a true neighborhood. On the other hand, decks are at the back of the house, sometimes screened and most likely landscaped to be reasonably private, and not necessarily welcoming to any uninvited visits or conversations.
Given this modern shift in architecture, it may be appropriate to ask the question again, “Who is my neighbor?” As spring lends its way to summer, take time to rebuild or renew relationships with those who live around you. Find out more about the guy who cuts his lawn early in the morning or the lady who has the little dog… discover your neighbor!
Rev. Dr. Fred Leasure, Parish Associate