I’ve lived in my neighborhood for the past ten years, and I thought I knew everything about it. I could navigate my way through the entire thing and I’ve been to our pool, park, and clubhouse more times than I can remember. Over the years, friends have moved in and out all around the neighborhood, so walking or biking through it was no big deal.
To pass time, I normally sit in my square shaped room with the doors and blinds closed and my eyes glued to the screen of my phone, computer, or TV. These things were the most interesting to me because I thought that they were the only things around me that I haven’t seen a million times in the past ten years.
On a typical morning at 6:28 a.m., I sprinted out the door with my backpack hoisted onto my right shoulder. I met up with my friend across the street to walk the typical walk to the bus stop, and I quickly turned back towards my house to convince myself that I wasn’t forgetting anything. But all I could do was stop. And stare.
For the first time I noticed how the trees with their vibrant green leaves created a beautiful, everlasting alleyway behind me. Was this really here all this time? Not only did the trees dance in the wind, they swayed back and forth to their own perfect rhythm. I looked to the right and noticed the elegant pink and white flowers that grew on the tree beside the alleyway. I knew they were those colors but were they always that vibrant?
I turned back to my friend, and all I could talk about was how gorgeous our neighborhood was. Before running to the bus stop, I took one more look around and gasped. Because these were the little things. The things that phone screens could never recreate and the things that have been outside my front door for the past ten years.