I have the white noise of trains rolling by, you might have frogs chirping you to sleep. You may have a sky full of stars lighting your path, I have the patterns of streetlights glowing on wet pavement. You may have wildlife that scampers around your world, I can set my watch to the dog walkers and cats that cross back and forth from sidewalk to sidewalk. You may smell burning leaves, maybe burning garbage, where I smell the chicken factory. You may need a 4×4 vehicle to get around, where I can walk and get gourmet coffee, artisan bread, and amazing chocolate just on the way to pick my kids up from school. You have the seasons waft to and fro around you and you have no need to watch anything else, it’s amazing, God-given, consistent and beautiful. I see the work of men that labor for greatness, sometimes in tower of Babel style, reminding me that God’s way is always better. There is nothing new under the sun. The projects to improve city blocks, the design that reuses refuse and makes it beautiful, the public art, the efforts to make education more creative, the grants, the dreams, the shows, the meetings, the neighborhood watch. It all is meaningless without the knowledge that God has made so many things that contradict sometimes. That there is good and bad things everywhere. I can see God’s fingerprints in every busy thing that passes me by living in the city.
I look forward to our trip to Helen GA this weekend. We will wind through the North GA mountains and see the colors in the trees. We will build fires and hear the quiet of being away from industry and the joy of nowhere to be. We’ll hike, pick flowers and find pretty leaves. We’ll breathe in the crispness of fall and recharge knowing that the white noise we know will be waiting for us with a rumble and hiss. I’m glad for both city and country. I hope to live in the middle of nowhere very, very soon. While I’m here, paying too much for my plot of land, I will rejoice in its beauty with my senses the best way I know how: conversations with my children and the stroke of my brush.