Today I want to tell you about my block--or street, or whatever you call it. My house is about in the middle, so I have a good vantage point looking at either side.
One side is "city" or at least "city-like," with a gas station, chiropractic office, ski store and other businesses lining the street perpendicular to ours. I do love having the chiropractic/massage office, which looks like a large log cabin with a fireplace. I especially appreciate being able to walk there at the end of a writing day when my back is all kinked up -- and be able to get unkinked.
The other side is somehow rural -- and yes, maybe that's a stretch. It's mostly houses, and they're fairly close together for the most part, so maybe rural isn't the right word. But what countrifies it is the chickens - as you can see, there are lots of them -- either penned or walking around the yard of our neighbor on this corner.
The chicken spill out sometimes onto the road when I am driving to or from my tiny garage into the alleyway, and I wait for them. Brown or white (never both), roosters and hens, they seem happy to roam around and check out the neighborhood. I like them, and I love watching them.
I think my neighbors eat them, and that kind of makes me sad, though I have no standing, because I buy and eat store-bought chicken. But still.
As a child I couldn't decide if I wanted to live in the city or the country, and our one-hundred-and-three-year-old house in the middle of this particular block seems to know that, somehow. I live on the edge of a bigger city, but my little burg is only 6 blocks long and 6 blocks wide, and I actually know the people who work at city hall. That's something I never expected when I moved to the Midwest from New York City.
There are days when I really want to leave the neighborhood for more space and a more rural area. There are other days when I love being in the center of the city, and can't imagine not being able to walk to a bookstore or a restaurant.
Something about the chickens, though.
I know lots of people have them in urban settings, and always have, and that just having chickens in your neighborhood doesn't make it a rural one. But it just feels that way, probably because at heart I will always be more of a city mouse.
Then again, who knows? Maybe living with more space around my house is still in the cards for me. At this point, though, I'm still in the middle. And that's OK.