I’ve recently returned to work from my second maternity leave in three years. It’s crazy how having children changes your perspective.
Before kids, I was the hard news writer: the political, fire, death, taxes, crime, and general doom and gloom reporter. Anything sad or controversial was likely assigned to me and I wrote most of it without much emotion or attachment.
Then kids happened. My thick skin thinned.
My first assignment upon return from my first mat leave was a fatal accident. As the mother of a then one-year-old, I couldn’t help but think that somebody’s baby was now gone. He wasn’t a baby anymore but he was SOMEBODY’s baby. Ever since then my perspective on the news has changed and I’m not so keen to be the one to provide the public with awful news all of the time.
I know I’m not the only one who is sick of bad news — parents and non-parents alike. The internet has now made it possible to be bombarded with the world’s horrors with the click of a button — even when we try to avoid it. While I acknowledge those stories are still important to share, I don’t care to be the one consistently writing them.
Lucky for me, when I returned to the Citizen part time after my second (and have I mentioned beautiful?) child, the reporter who replaced me for my maternity leave kept all those traumatic beats, freeing me to write other, hopefully less depressing things. I want to find more positive news. It’s got to be out there somewhere.
I often drive down this one street to get to work. It’s your average Cowichan Valley neighbourhood street. Two houses in particular stand out to me. On the right is a lovely home with a nice tended-to garden and well cared for lawn. On the left, an equally lovely house with smaller yard and a seemingly ignored lawn.
The property line is clearly defined by the difference in height between the two adjacent lawns.
Literally, the one neighbour could make just a few extra passes with their mower and both lawns would be cut. A few extra feet of hose and both lawns would be green. Instead one is immaculate, the other much less pretty.
My husband says we don’t know the circumstances, maybe the neighbours don’t get along.
I just wonder at what point did we get so caught up in our own lives where we can’t help our neighbour?
So… I want to hear about the person that DOES cut their neighbour’s grass. I want to hear about the lady in the reflective vest I saw picking up trash alongside the road the other day. I want to hear about the good stuff. I’d like to contribute more happy news to this region. Quirky, funny, oddball, heartwarming, good-news stories. Send me your tips and please, let’s spread a little joy.