I love the city. Any city. (Well, almost any city...) Love the smell of concrete and gasoline, the sounds of traffic rushing. Love the sight of many different kinds of faces passing by. I feel giddy climbing the steps out of a subway, wondering what I'll see first, what I'll taste...especially if I'm lucky enough to visit a northern city in the fall--ahhhh, the coolness of air slipping under your scarf and the warmth of a paper coffee cup in your hands...
But this weekend we didn't go to the city. We went to the country, drove northwest to Toby's childhood home in West Virginia.
I LOVE the country.
We felt all rural and excited when we purchased our one acre in the suburbs four years ago--you laugh! We dreamed what we could do with the space, what gardening could be done. :)
The view from Granny & Grampy's back porch can't be beaten, in my opinion. They live in a house they built, a house that looks like it might belong in the Swiss Alps, couched in the hillside with a high-pitched roof and wood siding. Everything grows there. Apple trees, corn, lambs ear, phlox. From the porch, you look down the hill onto the fishing pond and the lonely swan widow who lives there.
Over many years, they have acquired neighbors in modern brick houses and a highway that saves us nine miles. But somehow, when you sit by that pond, you don't see or hear anything except the whirring conversation of bugs and birds. And you just watch and listen and think thoughts too fragile to survive in suburbia because in the country they appear stronger. More viable. More necessary.
Not just thoughts, but feelings also. Sensations. Joy that is unrelated to anything but being alive and having skin to feel the 76 degrees. A desire to weep that is connected not to grief, but love.
Maybe it isn't suburbia that quenches these things, though, or only the country which can rescue them. Maybe it's more a matter of not being inside my own walls, hearing my telephone or the constant voice of duty in my head. Maybe it's being simply...away.
I love the country.