Those of us born on the westside vow at a very young age never to move "over the hill." My move happened past the point that I cared anymore for those particular cares of childhood. It happened when I had my own child, when the choice between commuting every day with my child on the freeway to drop her off at the company daycare or leaving her cared for near home and having even less time with her was in fact no choice at all.
I liked Burbank. It was small, quiet, and truly a community. In the past eight years, I have felt the growth of this city, often with some trepidation. I have watched local businesses close, the streets grow crowded, and the apartments and large houses proliferate. I have lived on streets where the only people that I every really knew were those right next to me, and MAYBE across the street. I came to believe that perhaps the community I saw was only in my imagination - that of a woman who desperately wants a home like the one in which she began her life. I began considering departure.
Last month we moved. We didn't go far, a mere seven blocks in fact. We are still in the same area code, and my daughter still goes to the same school. My favorite italian deli is at the corner, my friends are no further from me, and my job is still less than eight minutes away by car. But most importantly, I have discovered the city whose existence I'd begun to doubt. Our neighbors are unimaginably lovely, and the street feels calm, warm, and peaceful. The trees arch gently across the lawns and the streets, the yards are green and inviting, people stroll the sidewalks, and the periodic sounds of chatting voices are embracing.
And so as I sit here on my couch, the bright sunlight streaming across the clean white of the house across the street warms me. I can feel the warmth as it bounces off the walls and the bright white fence, and onto the driveway and green grass of the yard. There is a particularly bright triangle of sunlight on one corner of the fence that draws me. It is almost as if I can feel the sun work its way through to my bones, even from here in the house. It tells me that I am home, that we are welcome, my family and I. It embraces me unconditionally. And I embrace it back. I have found the city that I moved to many years ago. I am home. xoxox