New Neighbours

Photograph: Sharron R. McMillan

Photograph: Sharron R. McMillan

Lots of activity on our road these days. New neighbours are moving into the old house at the back of the property next door. They’ve been building, cleaning, weed eating around the place. The property owner talked to us as we passed on the road one day. He said they were a busy couple who have goats, two children and exotic chickens. They sell fertile eggs. “Do you guys mind?” he asked.
Do we mind that our perfect quiet, isolated life may change forever? Do we mind children may invade our privacy and more traffic up and down the road will certainly be noticed.
I guess we do mind, though we are also grateful for more than 30 years of peace and quiet before neighbours began moving in. It was inevitable and we’ve know that from the beginning. We just need to decide what kind of neighbours we want to be.
Seems to me people who choose to live down a long, bumpy gravel road at the back of an acreage in the middle of the forest must also value isolation and peace. Or maybe it’s just cheap rent. Waving to each other as they zing past on the road are good enough for now.
We hear roosters crowing about 4:30 each morning. Not an uncommon sound for farmland we tell ourselves. And more young roosters practicing to add their voices to the morning song. Sounds like they have quite a few hens and we’ve heard a goat baaing a few times. Hopefully they keep the goats enclosed. Memories of chasing neighbours goats out of our garden make us quite wary.
I’m glad we have our gate, our imposing statement to a desire for privacy but balanced with my arrangement of buckets of flowers at the entrance also states we like to share beauty and creativity on our own terms.
For now we wait and see, watch and listen, wave and smile and hope for our version of good neighbours – People who love the woods, honour the wildlife and we who also live here, who would lend a helping hand when needed without grudge or score-keeping, who don’t mind sharing information and knowledge without judgement. And we would hope we could be that kind of good neighbour too.

©2015 Sharron R. McMillan

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