templepatrick-village-759-old

was speaking to a bunch of young people last weekend. felt like another weekend away was the last thing i wanted to do at this point but i found it a really refreshing time actually. one of those times when the doing energised me and i was refreshed by the openness, hunger and humour of the young people.

anyway, near the end of the weekend i was chatting with a small group of them when a 16 year old girl announced that she lived in the same estate as me – something i was obliviously unaware of.

so she lives a few doors down from me and the thought suddenly struck me that, because my house is at the very entrance of our housing development, i haven’t actually gone down to the bottom of my estate in well over 5 years. these are the same streets i used to play on and same houses i used to dander in and out of, yet i haven’t ventured 20 yards the other side of my house in half a decade!!

but an even graver discovery was that this girl had been living 5 doors away from me for 11 years and i’d never met her before!! that blew my mind and freaked me out.

in the days of connecting with people from across the atlantic online, i’ve never met some of my neighbours. last century we discovered how to leave this planet and visit outer space, yet many of us struggle to walk across the street and visit our neighbours. what’s that all about?

and then i meet a teacher yesterday who sees it as her ministry to cook buns and drop them into the houses of her street, including a hungarian family who have just moved here.

i’m challenged…yet, if i’m honest, not challenged enough to do anything about it. partly because i don’t know what to do, partly because it’s almost gone too far in our estate, and partly because i couldn’t be bothered…

PS – the above photo is my wee village back in the day. a more connected village then i reckon…

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