IT IS ALWAYS easy to love our neighbor as ourself when times are good and the sun shines making all of the flowers bloom and when faces are filled with light.
We held a neighborhood party on campus last year and invited our neighbors to attend. Before the party we visited each neighbor personally as a group and brought each family a lovely cake and shared ourselves with them. We had 80 neighbors attend the six-hour-feast and sharing. This was a very happy time for everyone. We have had requests to repeat the annual party, who knows, it was fun!
The real test of neighborliness is when your neighbor has a problem and you can do something to help them. You are helping a godbeing who is in need of your attention. When this happens all of the stops are pulled out and you go all of the way in being a helpful neighbor.
This happened this spring when the rains came again and again to Southern California and the water flooded down the mountains surrounding our 104 acre Spiritual Retreat. True, it is a Spiritual Retreat for the campus family, but we enjoy thinking of it as a Spiritual Retreat wherein we think loving thoughts about our correspondence students, family members a field and our local Campo mountaintop neighbors whom we have come to know and love over the past 28 years.
To the south of the campus on the hundreds of thousands of acres of Bureau of Land Management BLM land open to the public and the Campo Indian Reservation are 13 peaks with 12 valleys flowing into three valleys which centralize across our 104 acres onto the land of the neighboring community below to the north.
Every Spring Nature ushers torrents of water down these many valleys gathering the waters in three funnels which annually inundate our neighbors. There is little we can do to control Mother Nature than enjoy her opulence.
One neighbor has his home below our property on the flood plain where all three funnels pour out. By the time they reach our neighbor’s home the torrent is contained in two streams. One stream flooding under his home and the other gushing through his front yard in a drainage ditch for that purpose. The water under his home was unexpected and not known in dryer times or when Mother Nature was less opulent with her largess.
As our neighbor made known his plight, we immediately called out our tractor and hand shovels and diverted the water from striking directly against his home but into the drainage ditch. We had already constructed a wooden fence on our mutual property line which fended off most of the torrential rains, however the amount of water was just too great.
The campus family united as one to protect our neighbor’s home. In a few hours work the water was fully diverted from flowing under his home.
Wet and bedraggled, we showered and took the evening off to rest and enjoy one another’s company.
I will always take any action necessary to protect my neighbor’s property.
-Dr Herbert L Beierle