I have written two posts about my interactions (battles) with the neighbor in the apartment above me. The idea was to encourage solidarity with others in our bitter world (Part 1) and to share the concept that solidarity starts with compassion (Part 2).
Soon after I posted Part 2, I was reading in my living room when I heard a huge splash of water outside. I got up to look. My entire patio, chairs, table, and all plants (which certainly don’t need it after a week of rain) just got buckets of water dumped on them. It was also flowing through the space between the floorboards of the deck above me.
I said calmly (I’ve benefited some from my philosophical and theological musing), “Why do you keep doing this?”
A disembodied voice (I’ve never seen her) said, “Doing what? It’s raining; can’t you see it?”
I said, “That’s not rain dripping through your deck boards onto my furniture and killing my plants. That’s what you just dumped over your railing.”
She said, “Why don’t you move to an old peoples’ home where you belong?”
I stood in unbelief, and finally said, “You must have had a very hard life” and went inside.
By the next morning I had made a decision based on many years of trying to embody the Serenity Prayer. I removed the patio furniture (which I have not yet used this summer because I never knew what she would do next) and returned it to the garage. Then I arranged more than a dozen beautiful potted plants into rows against the outside wall of the apartment so her floods couldn’t reach them. It looks a bit strange, but at least they are alive!
I can’t seem to find enough compassion for this angry woman to create solidarity with her, so for now I have to rearrange my thinking (and my patio) in the attempt to maintain peace of mind. I’m hoping this is the end of the story.
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”