Most people go by me now in my neighborhood with headphones or phones, and conversation is rare (which is different from how it used to be). There is one man, however, who walks by with two crazy dogs who always chats when I’m out there sawing down tree branches or swinging my machete. Today he stopped and asked me point blank, knowing well that I normally have a very abundant garden, “What exactly are you doing? Are you hard pruning, or is it something else?” When I said I was actually eliminating my garden, he asked why, and he listened. And when I mentioned Peace Corps Uganda, he told me all about his home continent of Africa.
There’s also a Chinese grandfather catty-corner across the street who prunes and chops as much as I do, and he seems to speak no English and we wave constantly at each other. I chopped down something super huge today and he seemed very proud of me.
I feel seen, and that feels good.