Last Saturday evening, we went out onto Adam's front porch to relax and jam with our instruments. It was a bit cloudy outside with a cool breeze, but we did not think much of it. About half way through the first song, a wall of wind blew through the trees and down the road, coming right at us. Instruments went flying as we were both literally and figuratively blown away by this unexpected gust.
As we collected ourselves and marveled at this strange incident, I heard someone ask, "Hey Ryan, did that branch hit your car?" My heart stopped for a moment when I looked down the street to where my car was parked. Sure enough, there was a giant branch right in front of my car. "Oh my God, it fell off that tree, hit my car, and then bounced off," I thought.
Before I could do anything, Adam's next door neighbor ran across the street over to my car, checked out what happened, and yelled, "I think it missed your car!" I also ran over, and sure enough, the tree limb had missed my car by a mere three feet. "Someone was looking out for you," I heard another neighbor say as she walked up. Moments later, five neighbors were out by my car to make sure everything was alright, and half of the block stood outside of their homes asking if everything was okay. After everything checked out, Adam's neighbor decided to use his truck clear the limbs. Ten minutes later, he had tied it up to his truck and dragged it away so that it would not block the road.
In this experience, I felt accepted, embraced, and as though I was truly part of the neighborhood, even though I had just moved to Wichita three days earlier. A potentially devastating situation turned into a profound gift. To have so many neighbors come out and check on me was something I had never experienced before back in Texas. I am blown away by the generosity and neighborliness of people of SoCe, and I am grateful that the care so deeply about their neighbors, even their brand new ones.