Power of Place


If you have read this blog or spoken to me in the past six and a half years, you may have heard me complain about where we live. Shockingly, it took us until last fall to realize that, as much as Somerville was not our number one choice of cities to live in, a huge part of it wasn’t really Somerville’s fault. It was that we were not urban people. Sure, we loved the diversity – Spanish and Hatian Creole spoken at the grocery store. It was nice to have a choice of three Thai restaurants within eight minutes of our apartment. We will miss not being closer to our friends. But this was mostly outweighed by what we perceived as a generally loud, dirty, crowded, tacky, stressful, loud, expensive place. I am glad there are cities. And glad there are people who like to live there. But it was good to realize that the quality of my life – and that of my partner – was not enriched by living in the city. We are not do-ers. The theater and culture of a city is not our thing. We are homebodies. We drink our tea, read, hang out with our cats, and enjoy nesting.

Since Tuesday, we have lived at the above cottage and it is such a relief that both of us can barely believe it. We just didn’t realize how much better it would be for us. The trees. The grass. You can see the stars and the moon against the dark night sky in the silence. They must have been there in the city, but somehow, it was not the same at all. No wide open sky. No silence.

I am amazed at the joy I get in parking right next to my door rather than driving around the block three times and spending ten minutes shoveling out a spot, only to slip and slide over ice-covered sidewalks, up the steps past the neighbors smoking pot and playing loud thumping music, to my triple locked door.

My soul is so much more at ease here. The air is better. Our neighbors brought us cookies, rather than stealing our mail and screaming at us for leaving the hall light on. No one drives by with their music up at 2am. No lights come through our window at night, except the moon.

And, it allows me to appreciate the non-country even more. We went into “town” today (is this a Kentucky thing – “we’re going into town” – or I wonder if everyone who lives in the country says this…?) and I was in love with the character of it all. Barnacle Bill’s House of Crab, The Rosewood Inn, Ella Jane’s Hair and Nail Salon… These things are are all lovely, when I visit them and don’t live next door to them. There was even a TRAILER PARK, which somehow made me feel very at home since these are perfectly normal in the parts of Kentucky and Ohio I am from. It was a town surrounded by country life, rather than the city next to another city next to another one.

Then we came home from “town” and drove right up to our door. No sounds of cars outside. Just our trees rustling and the melting snow dripping the roof.

There are apparently wild turkeys that live in our woods although we haven’t seen them yet.

I am psyched. And happy. And incredibly blessed.

4 Responses to Power of Place

  1. Charlie Talbert says:

    Welcome home!

  2. Annie says:

    I’m so glad you’ve found a place that’s better for you to live and BE! I understand just not being a city person. I’m not really a city person, although I can somewhat stand the suburbs, and I love being where there are backyards to spend time in, where there are back country roads to wander through, and where it’s so peaceful. I’m lucky this year to live a little bit off the main roads so it’s quiet but Newton is still a bit too city-ish for my taste. So I plan to move closer to “home” this summer and settle in for a while.

    And the house is very cute!

  3. There’s such a sense of relief in your post! I suspect you’ll find that everything is easier now that you’re somewhere you feel comfortable.

  4. […] the economic situation and our recent move, I have returned to these questions more lately and at least until I am preoccupied with other […]

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