I don't know exactly when it began.
happening a few years ago when Rick and I were getting exercise and fresh air by going for walks around the neighbourhood. I've always been a pokey walker at best, often getting distracted by things that pique my interest (thank goodness for Rick's patience
and acceptance), but it started happening more and more...
An indifferent cat eyeing us from the window. A quirky garden ornament.
An inexplicable something in someone's yard. An odd colour combination. A creative expression of sidewalk chalk art. A home made sign expressing a funny message. An interesting repurposed or upcycled item. A garage door with peeling paint that looked like
a framed piece of art. A mailbox with a beautiful rust pattern. An unusual bud on an unfamiliar tree. A cheeky squirrel.
(then Rick would stop LOL!), we'd look at it, ponder it, sometimes talk about it, then move on until the next wonder appeared.
things were everywhere. The more we noticed, and stopped to look and ponder, the more would appear.
One day I started taking pictures
of all these little treasures, and then thought it would be fun to share them on Facebook. Why not spread some of the sheer amusement and delight and curiosity and wonder and incomprehension and confusion and joy and awe and wonder that was happening in my
Most of the time, the pictures were just taken with my cell phone, but then I'd sometimes carry my digital SLR with my zoom
lens to better capture all the things that were smaller or further away.
When you walk around with a big camera, or you take pictures
of people's property, you occasionally get noticed. A few people have been suspicious and sometimes angry, and have come out to ask what I'm doing. Not all appear to have been convinced by my explanation, but so far we've gotten away alive.
Others however, have been absolutely delightful, often just admiring the fact that we're admiring
something about their yard or home. We've received lots of enthusiastic waves and big smiles through the window. Occasionally someone walks over or comes out of the house to enthusiastically share their story, and we learn a little bit about their life or
their creative endeavours.
Living in a community with a significant percent of indigenous people, as well as supporters of their causes,
one item I have many photos of, is the many homes with orange t-shirts hanging in the windows, on the railing, or in the trees (I put a link to the orange t-shirt story in the comments).
One day when I was taking the photo of an orange t-shirt hanging on someone's front door, the couple who lived there happened to be just coming home from walking their dog. The women, in a kind and curious
voice, asked me if I was taking a picture of the t-shirt. I said yes, and that I was trying to get pictures of many of them around the neighbourhood because I wanted to share them on Facebook on Indigenous People's Day (June 21).
She suddenly got excited, and told me to wait there for a moment. She ran inside the house, and came back outside with a mini orange t-shirt pin that her indigenous
hairdresser had skillfully beaded, and she gave it to me. I realized in that moment that this wasn't just an exchange from stranger to stranger, but something deeper... the spontaneous desire to express the delight in recognition of a common bond... fellow
human travellers recognizing each other. The universe was saying, "Hello".
As I reflect on all the people we've chatted to along our
walks, it occurs to me that every time we stop and take a moment to appreciate whatever is before us, it often invites the rest of the world to join us.
Neighbourhood Treasures everywhere.
With Love and Laughter,