The Tie That Binds - 08/27/14
Every summer for the last several years, we've exchanged fruits & veggies with our neighbors to the left of us. Nator and Sona retired here from Azerbeijan. Nator used to run a huge peach orchard there. Now, he has 3-4 peach trees planted in his yard here.
We don't speak any Azerbaijani and they don't speak a whole lot of English, but we communicate just fine through the language of produce. A few weeks ago, we came home to find this huge bag of peaches on our front porch. They're the sweetest, freshest peaches you'd ever want to eat, grown by an expert of course. We take them our cucumbers, tomatoes and anything else we have success growing.
Our verbal conversations are hilarious. We focus right on each other's faces as if grasping at straws to catch every 5th word. There's a lot of non-verbal communication that takes place too--- hand waving, pointing, sign language... you get the picture. Somehow, we always seem to understand each other though. If we don't, we just both give up and with a big smile, give each other a hug.
We don't always know what they're trying to say and they don't know our words either, but we both know one thing. Fresh food and a friendly smile is a universal language always worth sharing. I love what they bring to the table both literally and figuratively--- a different perspective, a different life experience, a different culture, even a different language ---- in suburbia where life is too often lived in a bubble.
Hope you can encourage your kids to embrace and share with those different from yourself. Our differences are what makes the world go 'round.