community

If you go to the same places every day, you begin to meet the same people. You see them, they see you, you exchange hellos. They already know one of your habits. If you carry knitting or a notebook, they learn more. Perhaps one of them does the same work. They see you working, they ask you. Perhaps you buy 2 litres of honey from one of them. You overpay. Suddenly, there are small gifts. 20 pounds of apples.

Perhaps one of them is a bee keeper, and one is a writer. Another asks you for a sweater pattern. The writer lends you a book. Suddenly, at the usual intersections, friends pass you three different ways. Startled, you whip your head around. When the writer has a bicycle accident, you buy her a Frank McCourt audio book. You get her address when her mother waltzes into the cafe like a plot device. When you go to deliver the present, you find the writer lives only a block away, which is astonishing. Furthermore astonishing, you know the man who saw her on the road and took her to the hospital. Even there, the nurse was familiar with the patch of broken sidewalk that sent Jocelyn flying. Other cyclists know.