I walked to the top of the ladder, climbed up on the roof, turn around and sat down looking down. I pulled another scoop of goop out of the gutter and placed it within the bucket I had hanging on the hook below me.
The long row of gutter ahead was scoop by scoop being cleaned out and the bucket was filling up.
With every couple of scoops, I looked out upon the neighborhood seeing it from a totally different vantage point. On one look up, I could see one neighbor cutting hedges with clippers wearing a large triangle hat often seen in films of the far east. I watched a moment as she carefully sculpted the shape she desired. The care she placed in the task was evident.
I returned to my scooping and soon my attention was grabbed as a lawn mower engine roared in another direction. Another neighbor in a t-shirt and a pair of overalls was riding his lawnmower carefully creating diagonal lines, which shined in an amazing coordination from my view.
Far in the corner away from his work, his wife stood by the fence talking with a blonde lady in red exercise clothes who had stopped her walk.
I returned to my scooping as I inched foot by foot around the house until I spied two kids crossing the street, across their shoulders were fishing poles, and in one of their hands was a string of fish they had pulled from the creek.
I returned to my scooping and soon I realized I had matched my rhythm of work to a beating pattern which was coming from down the street. I looked closely to see what it was and I saw a group of kids were playing a game of basketball on a nearby driveway.
Once again, I returned to my scooping, and as I ended of my task, I cleaned off the tools and disposed of the goop in the bucket in the trash can. As I prepared to shut the lid, a loud noise with no specific purpose except the deafening of those that could hear the sound of a bass that bounced from a car passed by.
I thought how the hour or so spent doing something productive allowed me clear my mind of thoughts of everyday problems as I saw some of the best moments in my neighbors lives. Did they see them as the best? Probably not. But within those moments, I saw people, living side by side, in all facets of everyday life from pure sport, intense horticulture hobbies, passing the time of day to the victory of achieving one’s goals. And like the departure of the raucous bass line as the vehicle cleared the neighborhood and the goop was tightly shut away in the waste bin, all was well in our world. And that is really what is important, how we are with one another in our neighborhood and our town. That is where we can make things better for all of us.