For today, a little snippet of what life is looking like these days in Burlington.
Last Thursday night, we went to a potluck seder. Sneaking in just at the end of Passover, it was our third after having two the week before while we were home with Navah's family. This one was at the home of some friends just a couple of blocks away from us. We sat on cushions arranged around several tablecloths on the floor, spreading through two rooms to accommodate the big crowd, and took turns reading from a haggadah that our host had compiled from various sources several years ago and printed out for us.
A rabbi was there - a vivacious woman with a gorgeous voice who led us through songs and explained some historical background as we went through the Passover story. When I asked where she was a rabbi, we learned that she is the cantor at the synagogue at the end of our block. And as the conversation progressed after the official seder had ended and we were all sitting around sharing in the meal, we discovered, quite by accident, that she and her family live in the house across the street from us. We talked about getting together for coffee.
The next morning, buoyed by the lively conversation and the positive energy from the night before, I got my tush out of bed and went to a donation yoga class I had found online. When I walked in the door, the teacher who looked up to sign me in was my host from the potluck the night before. And she proceeded to lead one of the most peaceful yoga classes I've ever been to. Afterwards, we promised to get together for dinner or coffee.
Saturday morning Navah took Jammer for a walk, and she met our neighbor to the right, who was outside gardening. When Navah mentioned what a beautiful day it was to be out gardening, the neighbor told Navah - very kindly - that our yard was considered a bit of an eyesore in the neighborhood since it was the only rental house around and wasn't really kept up. She offered to let us borrow any gardening tools that we might need. Well, you didn't have to tell us twice. Though the yard isn't technically our responsibility as the upstairs tenants in the house, we love to be outside and were happy to make our space more lovely. So after finishing our breakfast, we headed outside to get raking and weeding.
Our neighbor to the right had left, so we couldn't borrow her tools. But no worry - the rabbi across the street was out gardening, and we asked if we could borrow a rake, some clippers, and even some lawn and leaf bags. She happily loaned us everything we needed, and we chattered across the street to each other as we each went about tending our lawns. Jammer sunbathed. It was an incredibly pleasant way to spend a few hours.
And just as we were finishing up, our neighbor to the right came home and exclaimed about how beautiful it looked. We got to chatting, and she started telling me about people in the neighborhood, which led to my learning that the executive director of the nonprofit that I've been wanting to work for since before we moved here is our neighbor to the left and that our neighbor to the right sits on the board. And she's an attorney at another firm in Burlington and asked me to send her my resume. We talked about getting together for lunch or coffee.
This, more than anything else, is what made me fall in love with Vermont and why I wanted to move to here. And it's why I'm so glad we did.