The seasonal transition from spring to summer in the mountains is a magical time. The deciduous landscape itself morphs from sterile dormancy to a vibrant, colorful and delightful palate of texture and color. The air is scented with the fragrance of blooming flowers, the dampness of the river bottom and the crisp cleanness that drapes our mountain summits. Children can be found playing in the streets, riding bicycles and celebrating the open-ended freedom of long summer days with limited obligations. Yardwork commences and gardens are planted.
As individuals, summer institutes the shedding of the literal and symbolic layers that protect us from the harshness of winter. For most of us it is quite easy to sort away our favorite winter “puffy jacket” and once again don the shorts and T-shirts of summers’ past. What seems to be more difficult for all of us “grown-ups,” however, is to make ourselves as willingly available to our friends and neighbors as we are to receiving the first sunburn of the season.
Contrary to mainstream philosophy: it is perfectly acceptable to have a differing opinion with a neighbor and still be able to send the proverbial “hi-diddly-ho neighbor” across the freshly-mowed lawn. An even better standard would be to celebrate our differences and end neighborly divisiveness.
So here is the Heber Valley Life challenge for the summer: be accepting of your neighbors.
Barbeque in your front yard and prepare a little extra just in case. Learn something new about each of the people that share your space. Look past petty stereotypes and discover just who are the people in your neighborhood. I am willing to wager that you have more in common than you might think.