October 10, 2011

These Lives I Choose

I could live in a wide open field. In a house on a cliff above the ocean. Or at the base of a mountain. A dirt road winding its way by the mailbox six acres from the front porch. I could live in a house with a porch. And a garden out back, where I would grow most of our vegetables. I would finally have that compost pile I have been talking about for years.

I could live in a town that gathers at the post office on Saturday mornings and leaves front doors unlocked, car keys sitting on the dashboard. "I left the lunch on the counter by the microwave. Could you grab it for me on your way to town?" Cars with dirt splashed up the sides would roll down the driveway, unannounced and ready for Saturday afternoon pie. I would bake pie from scratch. The mudroom would have a splash-basin and the family room a fireplace. By the ocean or by the mountain, summer days will pass by the water and end around the firepit. Winter days, he and I would out-sled children and swipe each others' marshmallows while we wait for mugs of hot chocolate to cool.

I have, at times, decided to move to wide open spaces, the woods, and ocean cliffs. I have, at times, decided to open the shutters of the oversized windows to let the sky and the wind roll through the house. I have, at times, decided on rural life.

I could live in an old warehouse loft-apartment. With high ceilings and brick walls. A roof deck and a view of the city and the patch of grass we call our backyard. The fire escape would hold potted plants and bread baked too long in the oven. Bookshelves to the ceilings rivaled only by the windows, panes measured by feet.

I could live in a city with corner grocer who puts flowers out front and a coffee shop with old wooden tables down the block. A subway ride to the gallery exhibit, lunch at a cuban restaurant. Intricate, interwoven, idiosyncrasies. Saturday night theater and Sunday afternoon walks through the park. The couple across the hall, the street performer at the subway stop, the hellos we give away and the ones we keep for ourselves, without consequence. And quiet mornings when it is just us. My cold feet tucked under warm calves.

I have, at times, decided to move to vibrant metropolises full of street art and artists, suits and ties amid poets and musicians. I have, at times, decided to build a life that is mine in a place that is mine in a city that belongs to everyone. I have, at times, decided on urban life.

Time can only tell which life I choose and how many times I get to choose.


  1. oh....I could live with you in all of these scenarios.

  2. I love all of these places to live, but I seem to gravitate to the idea of living in that beautiful little town you described. Hope you find one you love.