There is a woman on our block who watches.
She knows who is home, who is gone, who
goes where and when, who is ill. She is the one
who called the police when one elderly neighbor
fell in her house, and she stood vigil as the
body of another elderly neighbor was claimed by
the medical examiner.
There is another woman who lives nearby,
but not on our streeet. She walks her large,
feathered collie down our street. She loves her
dog like a child, or a best friend, and talks to it
in conversational tones. Her dog loves the lush
sod grown grass on the street strip across from us.
I think they walk down the street just so the dog
can roll in that grass. She's a careful dog, and
doesn't pee, dig or scratch. She just rolls her ginger
coat back and forth, and lolls with her legs in the
The two women are of an age. Our Watcher is
serious and finds comfort in things being the
way they should be. The Dog Walker is joyous
and sees the beauty in a length of green grass.
One particularly lovely day, the Dog Walker
joined her dog in a roll in the grass. I saw her
dog look at her with large, pleading eyes. So,
the two of them rolled back and forth, smiling
at the sky.
The Watcher came out.
"Are you okay?"
"Yes. I'm enjoying the grass with my dog."
"Were you feeling faint?"
"No, no. I am fine. It is a glorious day."
I watched our good, kind, rigid neighbor
struggle to understand why a woman in a
white, tennis skirt would roll in the grass
with her dog. The Dog Walker rose to her
feet, shook herself off, and continued her
stroll down the street.