[I’m sure about 3 million bloggers and writers have started their work with this title before, but it seems to fit.]
Earlier today I came back from my Art Fair and Friends Weekend and decided to take a walk. It has been such a beautiful day and I definitely needed to stretch my legs after driving for 4 hours. So, I set out in my subdivision, which is quite large and made up of sidewalks, a pool, playground and little neighborhoods within the neighborhood — sections of condos, townhomes, patio homes and single family homes, and more of the same. A friend who has a background in architecture once told me it was considered a “life stage” community (or something along those lines), and, according to him, a popular idea among developers.
Anyway, the neighborhood’s main road connects to another, older road that was there long before the trees were cleared to make way for our Suburban Paradise. At the place the two roads meet, there is a sign: “No Outlet.” Being the type who will drive down roads just to see where they go, I decided this was an invitation for me to walk down there.
Now, if you’re hoping I’ll tell you I discovered a big pot of gold or the meaning of life down this road, I’m sorry to disappoint. What I found was a bumpy road shaded by big trees – the type that rabbits and birds sit in the middle of for long stretches of time because they can. It’s the type dotted with leaning, mismatched mailboxes at the foot of long gravel driveways leading to houses like the boxy colonial with wood (not vinyl) white siding, the 70’s style 2-story with an above-ground pool and huge garden, and the brick farmhouse with a sloping front porch and shed in the back. There were Explorers in the driveway, the occasional car and pick-up, but not a minivan or gray Honda Pilot as far as the eye could see. I felt like I was a world away from where I lived, and in a way I was.
This isn’t meant to be a philosophical statement about where my life is headed, or a dig at suburbia. It’s more an observation of the contrast of living where I do. I’m thankful I can get everything I need at a nearby Target, but it reminds me why I innately need to go to an Art Fair to touch and see original, unique and “unregulated” works of art. (I am not going to tell you, though, that a backhoe and a shed in the side yard are what I would consider works of art.) Mostly I wrote this because I thought the road was kinda cool and relaxing. I didn’t even get to the end of it, so I’ll have to take a walk down there again.
More on the weekend later…