To the new neighbor lady who saw me with three bags slung over my shoulder and the cat carrier in one hand, fumbling with the entrance code to the front door of my new apartment building, and who let me in, saying, “I don’t know who you are, but you look trustworthy, and you have a kittycat,” thank you.
To the new neighbor guy who was the first potential neighbor I met when I toured this place last month and let me in that day, and knows the weekly good deals at the neighborhood grocery, and briefed me about the walk west when I was setting out that way for the first time, and is ever cheery, thank you.
To the new neighbor lady who told me about putting up the protective pads in the elevator when my moving guys came, and showed me how to get 15 minutes more on the dryer, and reminded me to move my car on street cleaning day (not even knowing that years ago, my car wore the Denver boot more than once), and has doled out this orientation as needed so as not to overwhelm me the day we met, thank you.
To the new neighbor guy who put me off in our first conversation because of cussing and a resemblance to a creepy 1960s TV character, but who told me about places where I might store my kayak, and offered something useful that he didn’t need any more, and hasn’t cussed since that first time, thank you.
To the customer in front of me at Family Dollar who saw me standing dazed at the checkout and consolidated the space her stuff took up on the conveyor belt and told me, twice, before I heard her, “You could put your stuff up here,” thank you.
To the drivers who stopped in both directions the time I was ratcheting out of a very tight parking space, and the driver behind me last night who stopped far enough behind me to let me parallel park, thank you.
To the guy in line behind me at Arnold’s Tea Shop when I tried to pay with a Benjamin and there wasn’t enough in the cash register to make change, who swiftly traded me five twenties for it, thank you.
To the tiny urban rabbit nibbling grass out front the other night, which did not flinch when I walked closer and took a picture of you, and to the groundhog scuttling into someone’s hedges the first time I drove down the alley, for signaling that wherever I go, I can still find wildness, thank you.
To whoever included in Sunday morning’s playlist a particular song of thanks, one of the very first songs about God I ever learned, not in a church building but at the summer camp about an hour away where I learned about Jesus and was eventually baptized, thank you.
And to whoever planted daylilies at all the corners of this building, and the timing that made the first one bloom on my first full day here, and everyone and everything that has made me feel like this move to this city and even this neighborhood is a convergence that’s been a long time coming, thank you for welcoming me home.