The ‘good ole days’ may tell the story of how front porches were the norm and people would meet and greet each other at the front of their homes. This happened because of house design and the willingness to make oneself available to neighbours. My personal experience came through my parents who built their home with a patio in the front yard where they intentionally drank their drinks and visited. That is a far cry from the backyard concept where neighbours find their privacy.
Just the other week, a fourth annual block party was being planned, but this was the first time the front yard was considered. Not only was it easier to pull the Neighbourhood Life BBQ to their curb, but accessibility to the block party proved to be helpful for neighbours to connect. By the end of the evening, there were neighbours who planned to stop by for a few seconds, but turned into an hour-long viist. Not only that, but these neighbours connected long enough to not only understand a few issues regarding someone’s yard, but address them as well. This in turn led to a good vibe in the neighbourhood because the issues seemed to be a concern for more than just a few of the neighbours.
There was more to the block party that evening, but the story here is how we can simply make a shift in our intentional neighbouring that helps us along in loving our neighbour. It may have been uncomfortable to move the block party from the back to the front, but it provided a renewed imagination for how we can make some changes that lead to the open doors for healthy neighbouring.