The Neighborhood Witch

My neighborhood actually has a resident witch. She’s a Wiccan in her mid-thirties who has a particular disorder which makes it so that she is more comfortable coming out at night (The heat gets to her). She’s always covered up in a coat or a shawl, and she teaches the neighbor kids about the different herbs in her garden.

But there’s more than one kind of witch.

My ideal writing life involves not only being awesome at writing and getting to write all day, but living as a particular ‘writer’ persona. I want to be the kind of person that the children of the neighborhood know about and are friends with. The adult who makes it easy on them, who talks to them like they’re adults, too.

Yes, you can play in my yard. No, I don’t care about the lawn or the bushes or the flowers. Play there any time you want. Want a cookie? Need to use the bathroom? Want to borrow a book? Explore my shed? Go right ahead.

I like children because they are new humans. They’re noobs, essentially, and I like being kind to them, though it’s too much responsibility for me to want to raise my own.

Since I moved into this house I have taken notice of the various children of the neighborhood, but I’ve never interacted with them. Until yesterday.

I pulled up to my mailbox and tried to roll down my window, but it wouldn’t go. Odd. I played with the button, but it was like the window was stuck tight. Annoyed, I got out of my car and got the mail, then got back in and finished parking in my driveway.

I collected my things and opened up the trunk of my car to take out my groceries. At that moment a young boy came walking up the property line between my neighbors house and mine on the left (there’s probably only about 15 feet between them).

He said hi, and I said hi.

Then I asked him where he lived. He pointed, and I confirmed, “The house behind mine?” He nodded.

The house he indicated is separated from mine by a wire fence hidden by shrubs and bushes. So now I know that he somehow bypassed the fence and was probably in my backyard.

I paused, then told him that he could come into my yard anytime he liked; I didn’t mind.

He smiled and said thank you. I asked his name. Jacob. I’m Savannah. He said Nice to meet you.

Cute kid. I turned to go inside and he asked if he could help with my bags. I laughed and told him no, that was fine, I could get them, but thanks for asking.

As I walked away he called after me, ‘Have a nice day!’

I laughed again. You too.

One small seed scattered. I remember being a kid and knowing that there were rules about property and yards and backyards, but those rules so often got in they way of how I wanted to play. I never understood why adults were so particular about their grass, for goodness sakes, and I still don’t understand it now.

I hope to see Jacob again, because he was a very nice young boy and I think I could probably turn him into a reader ;-) I’m very excited to be a Good Witch, and I think it’s off to a great start.

If my car window hadn’t have stuck when it did, then I would have missed meeting Jacob.

My car window is miraculously working just fine today. Magic?


10 thoughts on “The Neighborhood Witch

  1. mcquinnish says:

    Law school has ruined me. Every time I think about kids on my yard, I start thinking about liability if one of them ends up getting hurt on my property.

    Isn’t it horrible? My imagination’s been replaced by rules. :\

  2. outfortea says:

    That is so cute. SO CUTE! Haha. I remember when I was little two friends I went to school with lived back-to-back and there was a small door in the fence (only kids could fit through it) in between their gardens. On one property the garden was beautifully paved, with a trampoline and a tiny Maltese puppy who used to yap a lot, but didn’t stop him from being the cutest thing in existence. On the otherside it was wild and over-grown with poison ivy and there was this tiny kid’s swing hanging from one of trees. Back then, it really felt like that fence was a gate-way between two worlds, like a secret garden or something. Man I loved it, it’s making me so excited just to remember it. I’m glad you can do the same for Jacob. ;)

    PS I study law too and it’s so tragic that ‘YOU HAVE A DUTY OF CARE TO EVERYONE ON YOUR PROPERTY, BE CAREFUL SAVANNAH’ is the first thing that popped into my head. Screw it. There are more good people than bad in this world. Jacob and everyone’s neighbourhood kids deserve to play, unafraid, and we really should stop suing everyone like crazy (that’s my anti-law rant for the day).

    • savannahjfoley says:

      I knew yards like that, too! I had a friend who lived in suburbia, but beyond her house was this ivy-covered wilderness, and of course we were absolutely forbidden to go back there.

  3. postaxial says:

    I wish I had neighbours like that when I was younger.
    I went through a, “Zomg, must climb every tree I see!!” phase, and usually got yelled at by dogwalkers and people who lived nearby. No fair.

  4. lalaith7 says:

    I’m glad you get all excited about the little things, and that you’re going to be the awesome person on the block. I thought high school/college kids were so awesome when I was younger so you could easily be the most popular person on the block.

    I would make sure to introduce myself to the neighbors/parents of the kids as well. When my sister joined the high school swim team at the ripe young age of 12 my mom really worried that the high schoolers who befriended her had some ulterior motive until Mom met them and realized that wasn’t the case.

    I love grade school/young middle school age kids too, it was one of my favorite things about teaching swim lessons. I wanted to start a parent/child book club at the Y when I worked there to give the kids a taste of what I was blessed with as a child. It’s one of the reasons I still read so many middle-grade books :-). Anyway you could always volunteer at a local elementary school (in high school we went in and read to classes) or start a book club or something. Or you could just continue being the awesome lady on the block.

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