A few minutes ago, as I was getting the girls settled into their chair and blanket fort in the living room, I heard my neighbor practicing the violin. I hadn’t heard her (or him) in quite a while and I was so sad thinking that she’d moved away. The neighbor lives in an apartment complex behind our house, and practices in a room with an open window. The concrete and stucco bounce the sound around so that when my windows are open, too, it sounds like the neighbor is sitting in my backyard, serenading me. The neighbor is good, and the neighbor practices a lot during the day. I always wonder what the neighbor does for a living. Is she a waitress, trying to make it as a musician? A member of the symphony, perhaps? A nightwatchperson with a great hobby? I want to tell the neighbor how much I adore listening to the practice sessions, but I don’t know where she lives. Maybe the kids and I could make a big sign for the backyard, a thank-you note for the lovely music that makes us pause in the middle of our conversations and playing and tidying up to just listen. It is such a gift.