Look at this little rose tree. I’d like to call it a bush, but it isn’t bushy. It looks like a long green stick with a few green leaves on it, barely surviving.

This little tree is so loved and tended to daily by hand. It is on the side yard of my neighbor’s house.

Everyday she comes out with her bucket of water and pours it on her tree. I imagine her collecting water throughout the day from half filled left over cups and cooking water. Sometimes she walks around with the hose, watering spots on the grass. And sometimes she brings a bucket and collects fallen leaves, keeping her yard tidy.

She used to come outside with her husband and they would take walks together, with her in front and her husband shuffling behind her with his cane. He doesn’t come out anymore and I have a feeling he passed away.

I look forward to seeing her outside from my kitchen window, with her long white hair pulled back in a ponytail and with her glasses on.

She usually waves back when I see her but never utters a word. I don’t think she speaks English, but her eyes and smile say it all. I enjoy her daily routine. One time when she saw me on the bakfiets, her smile was larger than usual and she gazed at me a bit longer, and gave me a thumbs up.

She likes me and I like her.

We are friends. We are neighbors. And I look forward to seeing her everyday.

Simplicity and joy.