You never truly appreciate something until it’s gone. Or in my case, almost gone.
These past few weeks, I’ve become acutely aware of just how much I love the city, and all its eccentricities. Sitting on the stairs at the backdoor of my home, I have a full view into about seven yards. Of course, that means they can all see me too. This lack of privacy is strangely comforting. Over the years we have all learned each other’s ways, and the continuity of their habits and quirks means that all is well in the universe.
Before we bought the farm property, privacy and quiet were my top priorities. I was so preoccupied with these things that it made city dwelling quite challenging. We built tall fences, planted strategically, grumbled under our breath at loud and inconsiderate neighbours… It’s funny, but not all that surprising, that now that we have an abundance of privacy and quiet at the farm, my tolerance level has risen dramatically! In fact, I’m drinking it all in. Now, these noises are welcomed.
And the city is full of noise.
I love the sound of the birds chirping, mixed with the construction truck beeping in reverse somewhere up the street… as I sit here writing, my music can be faintly heard from within the house, competing with that of another neighbour. The summer always brings delights like this. I have a neighbour somewhere who, in the summer months, practises piano with the window wide open. It casts a spell in the early evening, and makes it feel like it’s the soundtrack to your life in some movie. The sound of the keys floating through the air has a romantic quality.
In the summer, impromptu backyard barbecues with smoke (of all sorts, if you know what I mean!) wafts over the fence lines, onto someone’s laundry hanging on the line…nobody seems to notice, or care. My Korean neighbours speaking in their native tongue keeps me guessing as to what they are saying, and the loud and very expressive conversations from my 86-year-old Italian born neighbour (who the kids call Nona) is very entertaining! The laughter and excited chirping of friends getting together in backyards here and there echoes in bizarre juxtaposition of the many sirens screaming past, on their way to an emergency.
The city is alive!
I’ll miss the day to day chaos of life in the inner city. And I’ll be sad to leave my neighbours who, despite what country folk think, are extremely kind, caring and hospitable. My network of friends within my city neighbourhood is large and will be greatly missed. I will find a new community in the country, I’m sure. Even though I’ll have to drive somewhere to see them!
I keep reminding myself that change is good. Scary, but good. And I’ll try to appreciate what I have while I have it, instead of waiting until it’s gone.