Neighborhood Changes

The neighborhood in which I have lived for two and a half years is undergoing more transition. For sale and for rent signs dot the landscape, a constant reminder that some folks are moving away while new folks will soon be moving nearby. A house on my block that was condemned is currently being torn down, soon to be another empty lot. Local gardens, both backyard and community shared, are beginning to yield all sorts of tasty vegetables.

My backyard is not immune from change. I have a small apartment outback, and since January a close friend named Josh Love has been living there. Recently, an elderly former neighbor of his was admitted to the hospital, and needed someone to look after her dog, Junior. Her health is very poor, and she doesn't expect to leave the nursing facility to which she has been brought. Love asked me if he could take in the pup, and I agreed.
In addition to Junior, a neighbor a few blocks from us has been raising chickens, and got some extra chicks not too long ago. Love and I coordinated to bring an old chicken coop to the back yard, and fenced off a section of the yard for their use. Within a few months, Love and I will be able to have farm fresh eggs to enjoy and share with a few friends who live nearby. They should pair well with the fresh tomatoes and peppers I've been growing for my wife's soon-to-be-famous homemade salsa.
There are lots of changes taking place in my neighborhood, just like in every community across Abilene. My hope is that I will notice the positive changes and be thankful for them, and be cognizant of negative changes to make the best out of them. It's easy to be excited about friends becoming neighbors and neighbors becoming friends. About shared food and shared lives. But maybe the families moving out of the neighborhood are going to live in a place they'll be happier, closer to the people and groups they love. Maybe that house that's being torn down will be replaced by a new, safer home. Maybe the families moving in will become important and cherished members of the community.
Change can be hard, but change can be deeply good. I pray that the changes in my community, as well as in neighborhoods all over the place, will bring about a better and more connected world. Which means I'd better get to work being a part of that change. Looks like some new neighbors will be getting a welcome gift of juicy tomatoes, spicy jalapeños, and fresh eggs!