Friday, September 9, 2011

the city + friends = rejuvenated

Today I decided it was time for us to go and visit my Mom, and conversations with one of my friends also ended up in us attending Shabbat dinner at our other friend's house. This used to be our regular routine when we lived here - Friday Shabbat dinner, then Sunday brunch with the same group of friends.

We were there, right back in the routine - only this time there were 5 young kids running around, and my brother with them, having a great time while the adults socialized and enjoyed a wonderful potluck meal. It was like we never left, only the city itself has grown - it has gotten greener and prettier and is more well taken care of. My mother's house and my friend's home looked different, too - renovations since we last visited, my friend had filled her living room with her photography business, the gardens have grown and taken on a life of their own.

It was beautiful - the city is closer together, more conscious, more of a community. My friends, my friends I've missed, just swept us right back into their lives, open arms, warm welcomes, hugs and laughter all around. The night ended all too soon - kids needing to go home to bed, it seemed - it felt like it ended so quickly after it began. But we will see them again for Sunday brunch, and there will be more time to play, to talk, to enjoy each other.

I feel SO MUCH BETTER! I am filled up again, with the love of good friends and the life of the city. Vast stretches of strip malls and perfectly manicured lawns just aren't for me - I need the grit and community and personality of the city or vast stretches of forests, oceans, and mountains to feel whole.

It feels so decadent and excessive here - the 5-lane highways, and so darn many of them! Vancouver has exactly ONE major highway for the whole of it, and there are two lanes each way - three when there is an HOV lane. Everything is close together and packed in tightly. Here it is all so spread out - it takes ten minutes of driving just to get to the closest anything - gas station, grocery store, anything. The nearest playground is a 20 minute drive from here. Strip malls and chain restaurants abound. It's a different world here. I'd forgotten just how different.

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