I was just over a year old when Sesame Street aired its first episode. Sesame Street was so much a part of my childhood I feel almost as if the Sesame Street gang were part of my family. I learned to count with The Count and was always frustrated when Big Bird never got to see the Snuffaluffagus. I was delighted by the antics of Ernie and Bert and was absolutely in love with Maria, Bob and the delightfully gentle Mr. Hooper.
I think my idea of community and neighborhood came from my Sesame Street days and I always dreamed of living on a street like theirs.
Flash forward a few decades and I live in an old and charming neighbourhood. The houses are brick, the architecture is striking and the people are wonderful. Our neighbourhood is bisected by a High Street that boasts an art gallery, a butcher, a bakery, a health food store, a book store, a library, craft stores, cafes, and restaurants.
There are dogs and strollers and old people and young people. We have street festivals and a Farmer’s Market in the warm months. And everyone is on foot so it feels accessible and friendly. It feels like community. It feels like home.
I ran a workshop this morning in Toronto and hopped a 12:30pm GoBus home. The bus dropped me off at the top of the High Street and, with my suitcase in tow, I set off on the six block walk for home.
And in my six block walk, I had a visit with my favourite Barrista, Kate, at Starbucks. I popped into the Health Food store to get some organic red peppers for dinner and had a chat with my buddy, Nadia. And then, just as I was rounding the corner for home, I bumped into our butcher, Chris, and talked about my workshops and meal plans for the weekend.
As I arrived home I realized that I had a great big smile on my face and a warm glow in my heart. And a familiar old song was tugging at my memory; ‘these are the people in your neighbourhood, in your neighbourhood, in your neighbourhood. Yes, these are the people in your neighbourhood, they’re the people that you meet each day.’