I’m back on the farm, away from the noise of the city. The tranquility has offered some space to think about my last couple of weeks in New York.
Perhaps it’s the juxtaposition of being in the city one moment and then on the farm the next, but the one train of thought that I’ve been returning to is the comparison of the two places.
The city is loud, ripe for exploration, and stuffed with experiences. It is defined less by its physical characteristics - the buildings and streets - and more by the diverse arrangement of its contents. It’s a space in a constant state of redefinition. Subway cars move from a state of tabula rasa to a unique combination of people as they are transported from one station to the next. Coffee shops observe the ebb and flow of people, some dashing with their fuel to another location and others lingering for conversation, thought, work and creation.
The city is an organic being that hurls you into the abyss of the unknown. A place like New York offers up an intriguing plate with the complex flavors that serve to continually remind you of their innumerable combinations.
Every subway car, every coffee shop will present a new picture. Zoom out of this picture and you see an ever-changing organism: the neighborhoods different parts of the body. Zoom back in and the streets become limbs, individuals become cells. It’s complexity within complexity, all in a state of flux that often surprises you with its jarring nature.
The farm does not escape change, but its metamorphosis is different from that of the city. The force of nature goes at its own steady and unassuming pace. It rolls over you like the movement of the sun, an evolution that you don’t notice until the darkness of night is total.
My favorite spot on the farm is the backyard deck that offers one of my favorite views in the world. It extends beyond my family’s property into the hills that slowly roll into the Blue Ridge Mountains. The sunshine of the last few days have only compounded this view’s beauty. From this vantage point, I see the languid movement of nature. The trees lazily swim through the air, reaching ever so slowly to the sky. Creatures large and small eke out a living. Life is engaging in a long struggle towards equilibrium that it will inevitably win.
While this refreshing view of nature recharges me, I’ve decided that I want to be in a city for as long as I can handle it. I’m in a stage of my life - ambitious, passionate, curious - that demands an environment to match it. The city is a place of action, of movement and redefinition. Some day I might want another change of pace, perhaps a place where the mountains capture your attention. Until then, you’ll find me roaming the streets, curious to see what’s just around the corner and an open heart to the diversity that the chaos offers.