When friends and family, actually any visitors, look out onto the garden, they would notice the missing fence between my garden and my neighbour’s on my left. The garden next door belongs to John and Christine.
Each person asks me then “why is the fence missing?” or “why don’t you add a panel and fix the fence?” I have always wondered why there is such a reaction and an unanimous reaction towards the fence. It’s not complete I guess. It looks messy I guess. But why is everyone spotting it and seems obsessed with it.
The truth is the fence has been missing for over 4 years and the truth is I am not bothered. On the contrary, I don’t like fences! I am quite glad that John and I can go into each others’ garden without any problem. Then I go on explaining to people why the fence is not there. Even John has apologised for not fixing the fence. Every time, I have told him I don’t mind as actually I don’t! Once I explain to people what’s happened next door and what has prevented John from fixing the fence, then people stop their questioning and I manage to silence them.
The missing fence is the symbol, the symbol of what we can see, evidently there is a hole in the fence but once you find out about the real situation beyond the obvious, then it all makes sense. John has been doing his extension for over 4 years. Christine is in a wheelchair and John is doing the extension so that she will have more space to circulate. Christine, one morning was handicapped, unable to move, breath on her own or speak… an aneurysm in her spinal cord…and you know what? Christine and I used to speak for hours in the garden, each on the side of the fence acting as a barrier. I am quite glad that the fence has gone as I feel closer to my neighbours.
We should always look beyond the obvious and decide that what’s not there is actually not a problem. Let’s not let a missing fence bother us…ever.