ZEN AND THE CITY

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Saying goodbye

A few years ago, I moved my family out of New York City and into a beautiful old home on five acres.

Our kids were 6 and 3 at the time, and like a lot of New Yorkers, we wondered if they would be better off surrounded by grass and trees, instead of concrete and glass.

We had a wonderful experience living in such lovely surroundings. In the mornings, sunlight flooded the country kitchen, and while having breakfast, we watched families of deer grazing on the meadow outside. Our land was filled with frogs willing to be caught by the dimpled hands of eager children; we had an ancient greenhouse edged with blossoming rose bushes; there was a stone sitting wall that snaked its way along our gravel road and out of sight into the woods. The house itself, welcoming and warm, was the 1920’s version of the American dream, and we filled it with details that would make our children feel happy, safe, and at home.

Life moves on, and although we still loved the house and its magical surroundings, we grew to resent the long commute associated with country living. The remoteness had appealed to us; now we longed to be in the heart of it all once again. With my husband working in the city and commuting back and forth almost four hours a day, I grew lonely and ached for my old life back – an apartment right by Washington Square Park; bright lights outside my door; culture, diversity and energy; and the possibility to pop into stores, restaurants, or even my husband’s office, whenever I pleased… Two winters later, we called it quits, and put up the house for sale.

And now it is sold. Another family will walk these grounds, and love these trees. Other kids will climb the stone wall and swing from the branches of the magnolia. A basketball will bounce once more on the big driveway, but our kids, however, will be far away.

I’m so sad to say goodbye. And yet I know it’s time to move on. In reality, we’ve already moved on – it’s been close to two years since we left, and moved back to the city. Yet, somehow, selling the house has more finality than moving out and moving on.

So let this post be my final goodbye – to the house, to the grounds, to the memories of my children’s happy smiles. Goodbye all the great times we had on this property. They say you need to let go of the past, so you can welcome the future. As emotionally difficult as it may be, today… I’m letting go.

To read more about my family’s journey from city to suburb and back to city, click here.

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