Suburbs

Change is afoot—major change. Next month my partner and I will begin moving into a house in the south end of the city. I’ve lived alone for 15 years, and we have had a distance relationship for the past eight, so it’s a big new adventure. These are exciting and happy times.

We had hoped to find a place walking distance from downtown, but this one is not. It is in the suburbs, but it will be a fine home, and we fell in love immediately. It has a beautiful third-floor great room perfect for our craft projects. Perhaps best of all, it backs onto a conservation area. I can open the gate and walk into the woods.

This brings me to a kind of philosophical quandary.

In recent years I’ve strived for a simpler lifestyle. From my current apartment I can walk to the farmers’ market, to grocery stores, the pharmacy, friends, the park, coffee shops where I can meet other writers, the queer library where I volunteer, and so on.

The suburbs present obstacles to simplicity. From our new home we won’t be able to walk to most of these things. We will have to drive or take a half-hour bus ride. The only thing we can walk to is a good locavore pub.

Possibly we will only live there for a year. Our opportunity to live together has come up suddenly. We see this as a time to get our bearings and figure out what comes next. So perhaps this is part of the experiment. It comes as a challenge to explore my values in a new setting. I’ve never lived in the suburbs before, and I’ve never lived on the boundary of a park.


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