We live in an aging neighborhood near the Chesapeake Bay. The majority of the residents’ age is over seventy. It’s a special place – an older community. It’s full of groups of friends and acquaintances. Of summer people and year-round residents. Overall, it’s a caring group, at least on the periphery. I’m not sure what it is about this place. I’ve always felt a magnetic pull to this neighborhood, even before moving here. I know for some of the other residents that they feel it too.
One neighbor mentioned that she visibly relaxed coming off the highway and traveling through town. Another has mentioned, that she too, feels settled when she is here. I know my family and I are always excited and relieved to be home in time to see the sunset over the western shore of the bay. It’s a very, very special place that I can’t help but fall in love with over and over again. And when loss comes, when someone dies or becomes incapable of staying in their home, a small light goes out in the neighborhood, and a hole forms in my heart, and a hole forms in the Universe.
Meeting the new neighbors that come into the ‘hood is always lovely, but that hole still exists. It’s an odd form of grief. I liken it to a tree dying, and its forest companions mourn its loss. So, with our recent losses, I raise a toast to their light and presence. My heart remembers them and honors their history in this special place.