Friday, October 17, 2014

The Architecture of Life

I am bundled in a sweater this afternoon looking out onto an incredibly grey and blustery day.  Life has presented me with many opportunities and seen to it that I have lived a number of very different places.  I grew up in Long Beach, a suburb of Los Angeles, and had a wonderful neighborhood upbringing with friends walking to each others homes in a close knit, albeit large community.

I enjoyed big city living as a college student in London, a city that has my heart and if ever I were to live in a big city, that one would be it.  From there I got my first taste of the country living in a Midwestern college town called Manhattan, Kansas 'the little apple'.  This is where I met B and began to fantasize about that 'little house' life I had romanticized as a child.

As college ended a young couple looking for work and adventure ended up where else?  Las Vegas.  Here, I learned to love the outdoors in a way that I had not before.  There is something magical about sitting on your porch at midnight when it is still 100+ degrees and it feels great...remember it is a dry heat!  We had our first real garden where we learned the merits of xeroscape.  This wild west town was on the cusp of major growth and we grew with it.

Eight years later, once we were firmly ensconced in adult life, and my stomach swelled with the beginnings of a new adventure, we moved onto opportunities in the upper midwest.  Here our little abode has encompassed the best of all worlds; the rural lifestyle that we both had craved yet close to several larger cities.

Last weekend while visiting 'the big apple' I somewhat expected to have the feeling that I had living in London.  Though both large bustling cities, they felt vastly different.  I saw first hand a population density that created its own vertical architecture.  I gazed into buildings on top of buildings for miles at a time and saw floors upon floors of small homes full of vitality.  A vastly different life from the one that I know, or have experienced.   As I walked the streets I could imagine the early days of the city, almost hearing echoes of those generations past.  A very cool, yet surreal experience for this now smallish town girl.

It lead me to think about where we have come from and where we are going.  We begin as a clean slate, a foundation and our experiences create our own unique architectures. We build on our experiences to become fully constructed.  If we are lucky, we enjoy the ride, and continue to grow and maybe do a little remodeling as we go.  As I write this I think of Sid, off on her own first real travel experience alone, a school trip to DC.  I wonder what little bricks will be put into place in her foundation this week?  At least the boy is contented building his foundation out of Lego's....for the time being. :)

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