Monday, June 8, 2009

Country girl in the city

I spotted these petals on a walk along the Genesee Valley Greenway, a fifteen minute drive/40 minute bike ride away from my home near the "Center City" of Rochester.

At times I do long for the country. A recent post by knitwear designer Kristin Nicholas about the tenth year anniversary of living on a farm with her family reminded me why. Growing up in Indiana instilled a deep love of the rural landscape.

But it also made me realize how much I appreciate living where I do. By living close to where I work, go to school, and do much of my business, I not only drive much less, I also feel embedded into my community. It's very common for a friend or neighbor to pop by to share gardening info, neighborhood news, or just to chat.

I walk across the street to get a pedicure from my nail technician neighbor. I walk a couple of blocks for coffee, bike about 10 minutes for my yoga class, 10 minutes the other way for graduate school, and have my choice of any number of restaurants if I want to eat out. Many of my friends live in this neighborhood, and it's so easy to stay connected because of that.

The cool thing is that I still get to enjoy some "country," through my backyard garden and chickens, of course, but also through the many patches of nature within walking or short biking/driving distance. Although I enjoy and value visiting other regions and cultures, I am truly a person that wants to feel rooted in "place." I want to know my backyard, my neighborhood, my city, my county, intimately. I'm pretty close to knowing the first two that well, but it will take years to know the city and county so well. And I love that. The natural world is so rich. I sometimes wonder if people took the time to really know their own patch of it, whether they would be so reckless towards it.

When we visited the Greenway, the trail was coated with the petals of blossoms from the trees. Truly, I cannot think of anything, at this moment, more enchanting.

p.s. If you think my neighborhood sounds intriguing, check these websites for details: BASWA and SWPC.

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