We hear it all day long. “Aw-die? Aw-die? Yeah! Yeah! Aw-die! Aw-die? Aw-die?…”

And we love it.

We are aw-die people. Outside.

Currently I can’t get enough of the sidewalk chalk.  When you grow up in the middle of nowhere, you are not able to do the following things:

-Draw things on your sidewalk with chalk
-Roller skate in your driveway
-Ride your bike really really fast down the street
-“Just run out” anywhere.  As in, “I’m just going to run out to the store, be right back”.

And so as I child I felt confident that I was living a sub-par existence as I read the Babysitter’s Club (they rode bikes to each other’s houses and then snuck to get ICE CREAM afterwards.  I bet they never even once really thought about how awesome that was.) and Nancy Drew and all of the other worlds that I disappeared to.  I remember begging my mother at one point to move “to town” and pointing out all of the perks that came with that seemingly obvious decision.

But now?  Now I feel a little pang that my baby’s pictures have Thomas Jefferson’s bricked influence in the background, and am starting to think about how essential it is that we get to the country before Asher grows up without the following things:

-Space. Lots and lots of space that is rife with the unknown and the where kinds of predators that we’re worried about are to the tune of snakes.
-The ability to say to his mother somewhat obstinately, “but I knew where I was the whole time!” when she has sent a search party to recover him from the side of a mountain where he was just stomping around in his grey cowboy boots.  Not that I, um, know anything about that.

–                                     silence.

-Rolling hills, 10,000000000 lightening bugs, peepers, dark inky black non light-polluted skies with so many stars it’s almost hard to look at, the smell of tractor diesel and the sound of crunching gravel and having to do chores that involve taking out the compost, collecting the horn worms (ok, ok, I hated that one, maybe we can teach Grace the dog to do that), and hanging up the clothes to dry.  (He won’t do that either I know, but please let me stay lost in this idyllic daydream that I’m weaving for myself).

My whole childhood I wanted to move out of the country.  I longed for a house key and pizza delivery and concrete and a mail slot.  It sounded so romantic.

Now?  Now I want to go home.

Even still, for the time being we’re keeping our city life.  We reveling in sidewalk chalk and walks to the park and “just running out” and being able to be with our friends late into the night because home is just around the corner.  We’re taking advantage of food being delivered and trash being picked up and a mailman that walks up to our front door.  We’re loving the proximity that we have to the dear and wonderful people that we love so well here.  We’re loving being close.

But in my heart I know that we want a little more aw-die room.  A little more quiet.  A little more solitude.  We want to stand on the porch in night clothes watching the sun ease up and stand there again as she sinks back down, we want to be forced to think about staying home because everything else is kind of far away.  We want to grow things.  And not just the 35 tomatoes that our sweet little city garden yields, but really grow something.  We want to be a little less concerned about what you’re doing, and a little more wrapped up in what we’ve got going on.  (No offense of course, please know that when this day comes I will diligently stalk all of you).

In a way I love that we’re starting here.  We’re going to choose that farm life some day, maybe soonish, maybe much later than we expected, and we’re going to think about how awesome it was when everything was close and we were able to just run out and there were 6 stores in a 2 mile radius, and we’re going to look at these pictures of Asher with his sidewalks and brick backgrounds and choke up a little because we loved that house.  This is where our babies will be born.  People that we love are here.  This is our sweet little city, and importantly, this is a city with a gorgeous aw-die.

What is about being human that makes us always, constantly, almost unendingly look for something else?  Why is contentment, the most simple of all emotions, the most difficult?  Where I once romanticized sidewalks, I now long for pastures, and yet the truth is, that old adage still holds: wherever you go, there YOU are.  It will never be where Drew and Asher and I and that next baby land, or what the background in the photographs is, but it will be us, together, that defines our time.  Remind me of that, ok?  Remind me that we’re right where we are and that everything is a-ok.  We’re here, we’re happy, we’re blessed, and that is good.  That is so, so, so good.

5 thoughts on “Aw-die.

  1. Beautifully said Amelia.

    About age 14 I got to move to town for a couple of years. I was in High School and in heaven to be where I could ride my bike to the mall and to see friends. Quite a contrast to it being a big deal to have a friend over, and when going anywhere included a car-driving grownup. Then we moved back to our beautiful spot on the bay…it took me a few more years to actually appreciate that upbringing in the boondocks. My friend Frances reminded me last week of letters I had written her describing adventures of walking to the mailbox with JC, and all the miracles to be observed on the way. Luckily for Asher, he will probably get a sweet taste of both worlds.

    • That is so funny about those letters…as I was writing this, I was thinking about our nature walks (I still can id rattlesnake plantain from looking it up when we were in the woods when I was younger) and thinking about Julie Claire laughing so hard that day as she gazed into her little sprite show that was just for her in the woods. Thank Heavens for nature!!

  2. Oh I love this! So so perfectly said.

    The wanting to be a town girl (my best friend and I used to pretend we were close town girls when we rollerbladed five miles to see each other), the being a town girl now, and the wanting to go back to the country soon.

    But you are right. Here we are NOW, and isn’t that enough? 🙂

  3. Country’s here — ready when you are. John plowed today — we’ll be planting taters this weekend, The chicks should be here tomorrow.

    But there’s still no takeout or sidewalks.

    Beautiful essay!

  4. Pingback: Dark Again. « Flux Capacitating

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s