You Have No Fence?
By Janet Stobie
Summer has arrived. Tom and I have moved outside to enjoy our deck and our yard. Compared to our old place in Dunsford, this yard is a postage stamp. Still I have a tiny garden brimming over with lettuce, peas and garlic. Pots of flowers add splashes of colour here and there. A maple tree, big enough to provide the illusion of shade, stands proudly in the centre, giving rise to dreams of spreading branches filled with the laughter of future great-grandchildren. There’s just enough space for our garden swing on its little patio. Already our yard is a sanctuary, a beautiful island for quiet conversation and contemplation in the middle of the city.
A friend came by and said, “You have no fence”
“True, I can look right into my neighbours’ yards and enjoy their flowers, see them at work in their gardens, hear their laughter, watch their children play. In fact, one day our neighbour’s beautiful 3 year old checked out our family gathering. He stayed less than a minute. Guess our conversation wasn’t interesting enough. Some people say that “Good fences make good neighbours.” There may be some truth to that. I don’t know. Being a permanent city resident is a new experience for me.
Right now, I’m glad there’s no fence. A fence would keep us in and friends out. Living in the country has taught us the value of knowing our neighbours. Our back yard can provide a wonderful opportunity for us to make friends on our street.
Whether our visitors are children and their parents, or the birds flitting to and fro from the birdhouses to the feeder, or the wee chipmunk and soft white rabbit both stuffing their cheeks with birdseed, I’m glad our yard is open to guests. We are truly blessed and we want to share those blessings.
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” (1 Peter 4:8-10)