Driving through my hometown today, you’d never believe me if I told you that I grew up in a small town. We have a Home Depot and a big grocery store and 4 whole stop lights.
But, in my memories, it is a country town, forever away from restaurants, entertainment, normal civilization. Growing up, I longed to live in a truly urban area, where I could walk to Starbucks and live in the exciting anonymity of being in a crowd.
My boredom in what I thought was the middle of nowhere motivated me to study hard and get the heck out of there. And, it worked. Today, I live in the opposite of the town I grew up in.
Our house is a very short walk to restaurants, bars, entertainment, and yummy coffee shops. I pass probably 20 Starbucks between home and work (meaning I’m forced to get a latte everyday). Everywhere I look there are lights and buildings and people and action.
And in the middle of this great city, I dream of wide open spaces.
I often close my eyes and think about what this land might have looked like before we carved it up with asphalt and stacked buildings on top of it. I think of the comment in Pride and Prejudice, “What are men compared to mountains and rocks?” I think of the Dixie Chicks singing, “I want to look at the horizon and not see a building standing tall.” I think of my childhood, of my ranch, of silence, of seeing stars at night, of feeling like the only person on the planet.
And I open my eyes and slide back into the anonymity of the city.