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  • Writer's pictureBeth Harar

A Neighborhood Quarantine Gift

Updated: May 23, 2020

All up and down my street, my neighbors were sitting on their front porches, waving at one another. Their kids played in the yard, careful not to stray from the boundary lines. From across the street, the adults spoke to one another in elevated voices so they could be heard. But it was the first time I'd seen everyone smiling in quite some time.

I felt like a one-man parade (with my trusty sun-blocker husband in tow). My neighbors - my friends - were waiting for the moment I'd show up in front of their house on the sidewalk and photograph them from 20 feet away. We walked in the street from house to house. Each family got about five minutes of photographing time - just enough to capture them together. Some families dressed casually, wine glasses in hand. Others wore their Easter outfits - the finery they didn't get to wear to church. Others embraced the craziness and went full Joe Exotic.

I feel so lucky. Lucky to have captured their personalities. Lucky to have brought the street safely back together for an hour. Lucky to call these amazing neighbors my friends. I know people are torn on porch pictures, worried they make light of this pandemic, but I feel differently. I gave my friends a welcome distraction from the worry, an hour of happiness amidst the sadness. In return, they did the same for me. We gave one another a gift I'll never forget.

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