We are (temporarily?…?!) living in a small town, a Mountain Town as I like to call it. We live at 2,500 feet elevation. It’s beautiful, there is no doubt about it, but I didn’t want to move here. I felt our life was established in the Bay Area, living in our City by the Bay. I fought leaving this city. Tooth and nail. Kicking and screaming. I did everything that I could to stay, but I had to leave, and had to, eventually, end up here.
It’s quiet here. No horns honking, no people screaming in the streets, no banging bass sounds filtering in through our closed double-paned windows in the early morning hours each night. My husband and I loved that noise. It sounded like home.
But, now that noise has been replaced by relative silence with the exception of occasional wildlife noise outside our cabin door. We have two zany squirrels that share our yard. We see them daily. A slew of birds pass by, but two beautiful blue jays appear to be permanent guests. Instead of hearing homeless men yell at commuters on the street, we often hear the squirrels and blue jays squawking. Several deer, a mama and two babies, drop by to chew on our hedge a couple of times a week.
Slowly, on an almost daily basis, I fall in love with this town. It’s a slow, drawn out process. I consider this temporary, and I still see myself heading back to that beautiful City by the Bay. In the meantime, I live this quiet life with a gratitude for the roof over our heads, for the expansive pine tree whose stump takes up almost half of our front yard and whose branches provide a canopy of shade that I know we will fall in love with during the coming hot, dry summer months. There’s a lot to love, but there is no avoiding the push-pull of our love/hate relationship.
Most days I try to find things that I love. I want the love to tip the scales over hate. I credit this small town for my enhanced love of the outdoors. How many can leave their front door walk about a mile or so, and be on the Pacific Crest Trail? Many days I have woken up feeling sorry for my life (no job, no income), but typically on those days all I need to do is walk outside, and with each mile I feel my inner strength matching that of my outer strength. Each stride helps to clear my head. It gives me peace.
I pass beauty with each step, whether it be wildlife
or my empathetic neighbor, who, for these past two months has quietly continued her personal memorial to the Sandy Hook Tragedy:
These are just two things that I love about my town. Each day I wake up and continue my love/hate with my town, but since I’m naturally a positive person..love/beauty on most days will always win out against hate.