One day a few years ago, when I first became unwell, I found my 84 year old neighbour mowing my lawn for me. I was so touched, especially as he didn't know I was ill, he had just seen the grass getting really long. He has done it ever since (I pay him now) because he says he needs the exercise and it helps keep his blood pressure down!
Around that same time another very kind person, to whom I will be eternally grateful, offered me their skills for free when I couldn't afford to pay them...
I'm not very good at asking for help, so these spontaneous and unconditional acts of kindness and generosity were, and are, so important and so appreciated.
I'm lucky to live in a village where people are friendly and I know my close neighbours well enough that we are more than happy to help each other out. It's not the same as the sense of community that would have existed in this village and elsewhere in the past, but it's valuable and I wish there was more of it.
As an extreme introvert I value my space and my privacy too, but I also love the idea of a supportive community and of a smaller scale, simpler, slower-paced life with more genuine human connection and genuine kindness. That is my hope for the future...
I hope too that one day I can pass on some of the kindness I've been so grateful to receive.