reflections on city dwelling

Lately, I've really been missing my hometown. It's kind of funny in a way because all my life, I couldn't wait to be out of there. I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania, where everyone knew everyone and all their business. Most end up staying in the area, have kids, and the cycle starts again. 

I think for years, I've looked down on that because I felt it was limiting. And maybe for some it is. But there is a sort of beauty you get with small towns that you just don't feel in cities. Last evening, we ran into a friend from church in the grocery store. We made small talk for about two minutes tops, but I literally could not stop talking about it afterwards, to the point that Eric was like, "what's the big deal?"

It's just that, it felt a little like home. Running into someone you know doing errands. For a second, it felt like the world was a little smaller, cozier. That never happens here--we're constantly surrounded by strangers, each of us in our own world. It can be lonely sometimes. I guess I never thought living in a city could be lonely. 

Honestly, I know it won't be forever. Hopefully in the next year, we'll make more friends and find ourselves running into people at the grocery store more often. City dwelling is just different than rural dwelling. 

For the most part, I'm really enjoying it. The energy, the proximity to restaurants and shops, the vast array of activities and entertainment that await you--it's a whole new experience. But at times, I feel an ache in my heart for the slow-paced. Granted, there are some things I do not miss: the cliques and gossip that organically arise in small towns, the freezing cold winters, running into people from long ago that you honestly just don't want to see, the humdrum of sameness and lack of change, the limited resources of variety.

Here's what I do miss: The green pastures and backroads of Pennsylvania. Farmers markets actually on a farm--and yes, even the smell of them. The man that used to sit by the river and sell his homegrown watermelons (always juicy, always delicious). Sunsets over the Appalachians that take your breath away. Sitting on the patio surrounded by family, talking late into the evening. And I can't remember the last time I saw a completely black, starlit sky.

But the cityscape is our glittering night sky now. And it's beautiful too, in its own way.