These past few days the temperature keeps hitting 30 degrees by 8 AM and being outside for too long is unbearable but I keep reminding myself how these are the moments I live for when my depression hits the hardest during the winter months and every day even through the sweat and the irritation and the lack of air conditioning I force myself to spend time on my front steps in the sunlight shining through the leaves of the tree above me and breathe in the summer air and watch the neighbours go about their daily routines. I realised the other day that you don’t really pay attention to other people’s habits and routines until you take a moment to stop your own and pay attention. I can sit out here for hours drinking coffee and eating cherries and writing in my journal but most importantly watching the bustle of the neighbourhood around me. I see the man who leaves for work every morning at 10, or the father who takes his son to summer school 7 minutes before 9. I see the women who work at the laundry place across the street take cigarette breaks every two hours and the couple who walk their dog to the coffeeshop at the corner.
If I sit on my front steps in the late afternoon I get to have a conversation with the postman as he runs up each set of stairs to place letters and advertisements and bills in each mailbox.
There’s a sense of community that I’ve never really taken the time to recognise, or become a part of. I now say hello to the woman a few doors down who sits in front of her open window to watch people go by. I smile at the owners of the Tibetan restaurant at the end of the street. I know the cashiers at the supermarket by name and the baristas at my favorite coffee place know my order before I even ask. My neighbours offer me cherries when they come back from the store and call me Carlita.
I feel at home here.