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Asheville, NC (Or: Appreciating Home)

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

I have lived in Asheville, North Carolina for twelve, thirteen years. Well, outside the city itself, in a more rural community, but it’s the closest thing that can be called a city. Downtown is nice, but not that big. Other than that four-or-five-block radius, I’ve never really found much to enjoy about the place I consider home.

Today, though, I walked to the grocery store and back. It’s about forty minutes each way, but I don’t drive, and I didn’t really mind today because it’s a beautiful day outside. The sky is blue and cloudless, flowers are starting to bloom, trees are starting to come back to life. The breeze smells of clean linen and dirt and, closer to the highway, car exhaust. Outside, I love the feeling of the new spring breeze on my skin, and the sounds that surround me on days like this: birds sing, dogs bark, animals rustle the leaves unseen, and there’s always the distant sound of laughter, of cars going by, and of lawn mowers (people like to mow their lawns here).

None of that is anything new. Why am I writing this, then? Because I never really appreciated it before. I am always dreaming of being somewhere else, and if you’re reading travel blogs, there’s a decent chance you’re the same way. But today, on my walk, I realized how gorgeous and beautiful and peaceful it can be here. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to travel the world, but it means maybe I can appreciate home a little more, in the same way I would anyplace else. Maybe this isn’t the worst place to be.