Christopher and I dropped by a neighbor’s house last night to pick up a bag of things she needed to give us. I thought it would be pop-in-quick-and-take-off moment. It wasn’t.
She invited us in and made us feel so at home that when she went to answer the phone, we looked through books on her shelves and went out back with her son to hunt for potato bugs. We ate grapes in the kitchen while she made dinner and talked about things that actually mattered. We went home four hours later.
It made me miss cultures that invite people in and take time to talk to them for real—Brazil, Hawaii, my parents' house. Opportunity for epiphany is opened up in ways that just aren't available in a conversation like this:
—Hi. How are you?
—Good. How are you?
—Pretty good. I don’t like the rain these days.
—Yeah, me neither. Been cold.
—Yeah. What’s going on with you?
—Nothing much. Working, going to school. You?
—Well, see you later.
Forty-three words. Lots of words to say a whole lot of nothin'.