Yan's Corner - In Touch

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

My neighbour's garden

Last night in my Church executive committee meeting, the matter of building a tall fence was brought out for discussion. One of the intentions for building a tall fence was to keep the children next door playing basketball from climbing over the existing fence to pick up their basketball.

That brought me down to memory lane of my own neighbour who had a tall fence that looked ugly from my side. I guess, the fence facing his own house was well-painted. When I moved in to my house, the tall fence were there already. Therefore, the reason for building such a tall fence was not known to me.

Later, I had my first child. When she was 3, like all 3-year-old, she was curious as to what could be at the other side of the tall wall. I was then writing a column for a Chinese newspaper.

Here is what was written about the neighbour’s garden in my column one fine day –

It is a beautiful Sunday. My little girl shouts with excitement: "Mummy, come and look at our neighbour's garden!"

I look out of my window. My neighbour has just pulled down the tall wall. I see a big garden with trees and flowers. It is a very pleasing sight.

I have been very curious what is at the other side of the tall wall. My little girl has also been asking whether there lives a giant who does not like children.

Very often we are very self-centred. We are afraid things are not favourable to us. We may have shut out the curiosity of our neighbours by building a tall wall, what we are losing may be a helpful neighbour.

Sometimes, we appreciate only our own garden. The garden outside the tall wall may be more beautiful than our own garden…

Many years past, I still remember the glow in my daughter’s eyes and the excitement in her voice when the tall wall was pulled down.

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