Nature, Vacations, and a Sense of Place

I found myself with a sudden deep longing for nature, for woods and wild animals and deep, blue-green ocean. This summer is my first experience living in a city for a decent period of time, and it’s claustrophobic-making after a life of suburbs and small towns and—of course—the experience every so often of rural nature. I’ve come to a love of a natural, rural environment relatively late in life; it took the perspective and life experience of leaving home and seeing some of the world to realize that I do not need an internet connection every second of the day and I need time to read and to go on long walks and to listen to the ocean. It took the self-assurance to realize that my friends will not cease to exist if I drop off the face of the earth for three weeks. And it took the basic calm and slowing-down-ness that a little maturity and outgrowing of adolescence brings to realize that home is a wonderful thing when it looks like this:

Changing my voter registration to Mercer County, NJ, as I did a couple weeks ago, represented the divorce of my North American regional identity from suburban southern California. I’m lucky that I get something of a choice in these matters, and that I do have family roots in British Columbia, Canada. I’m doubly lucky that I’ll actually be there in just under a month.

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