Unique neighbors are not unique. For every strange, odd, eccentric, person and family you see in the community you call home chances are someone thinks you’re rather peculiar as well.
One of my outlandish neighbors decided over the weekend he would tack up “NO TRESPASSING” signs. Not just one or two but many signs in different places. They are on light poles, trees and even on the handicap ramp leading to his front door.
When these signs appeared I wasn’t surprised. His house is on my exercise route and in the last few months I’ve seen a huge dumpster in the driveway yet never witnessed anyone put anything in it. He’s had an exercise bike, a wheelchair, a TV, plants and a sign that reads “FREE” for anyone who desires these weather worn items. I’m not sure how many people live in his modest domicile but I am sure I don’t know where he puts them all.
There aren’t many things we have in common but we both like my Siberian Husky. Each time I pass his yard, dog in tow, we wave and exchange pleasantries. He reminds me to be careful at the nearby intersection because “those cars don’t stop!” He seems nice enough but what’s with the signs?
I’m curious, about the signs, about the man. What makes him tick? Why is he so strange? Why the weird yard art? Why the multitude of plastic gasoline canisters in the driveway? Where does he put all those people?
Maybe the signs are there because he’s afraid the folks who live on either side with their immaculate yards are going to start surreptitiously making over his lawn. Perhaps he’s worried someone might finally paint the handicap ramp he built. Alas, I’ll never know because he won’t let anyone get too close.
Sometimes our lives have “NO TRESPASSING” signs posted in different places. Ways we let people know they aren’t welcome or invited. Ways of doing things, of speaking and living that tell others to keep moving, don’t stop, look for someone else to bother. Maybe it’s easier to be thought of as independent, eccentric, strange or unique instead of building relationships and taking the risks that go with them.
If you notice you’ve put up a sign or two, why not take them down and see what happens?
wonderment and joy,