What lovely things happened for you on Neighbour Day — Calgary’s own special day celebrating the anniversary of neighbours helping neighbours during the 2013 flood?

My Neighbour Day began with arriving late to the yoga in the park hosted by Tuxedo Park Community Association and being welcomed into the circle as “that cute woman”. OK, not a bad way to start the day?!Lovlies1

The sky was that bold Alberta blue which blesses us regularly. There was the deep green of leaves and grasses at the pinnacle of their juiciness. At one point, as we were doing the standing mountain pose, hands raised to the sky in concert with all around us as five red balloons escaped from their tether and floated up and across the blue. We reached and stretched and breathed together, a circle of women, men and children and by the end, we felt well and gifted.

Hmm, the first lovelies of the day. Welcome, blue sky, green grass, red balloons breath and a relaxed body.Lovlies3

And then came the people lovelies.

Networking with Gian Carlo, our city councillor, who was part of the yoga circle and being told he would always take my calls. Fist pump! Yes!

Neighbourliness is built on reciprocal sharing so it was wonderful to be able to give Dana, host of the yoga circle and her friends, a tour of Prairie Sky Cohousing Co-operative and see their eyes light up at the possibility of a village in the city.

And then it was to my own community association’s barbecue at Winston Heights Mountview; with tears sharing my family’s goodbye journey with our beloved golden doodle, Sam, and receiving words of advice and comfort from friends and strangers. Around a table we are all friends.

In the midst of the bouncy castles, petting zoo, music, a further lovely was the invitation posed by Act 3, a collection of older adults who are exploring how to contribute their gifts to the community. They are facilitating a matching process called Neighbours Helping Neighbours: inviting folk to identify both what they might need from their neighbours and what they have to give. And so we circled back to where we began. How do we continue the practice of neighbourliness without the adrenalin of a crisis? New Scoop would love to hear your thoughts.

To share your story, e-mail sarah.arthurs@prairiesky.ab.ca

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