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Monday, June 25, 2001

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City and country

I've noticed that environmentalists and liberals talk a lot about how we need to stop sprawl and infill our cities but I was reading some essays today by environmentalists and they all live in the country, and extol the virtues of those who do. So is it more environmentally sound to live outside the cities or inside the cities? Or are only those who are spiritually advanced enough allowed to live outside the cities since it's assumed they will have good sprawl.

I consider myself to be an environmentalist but too many of them are oblivious to their inconsistencies. So are anti-environmentalists, for that matter, but the environmentalists seem to be the ones who want to have their cake and eat it too. I love nature writing and the joy of a good writer talking about nature and what they see in the woods and plains and deserts, but I also love cities and think I will always be happier living in a city.

Much of the nature writing seems to be about "place". I don't know that I've ever had a "place". I just live somewhere but I never feel like I have a place. When I was a kid I wanted to live in one of the Leave it to Beaver suburban neighborhoods where I knew all the kids and my mom would have supper ready and my dad was always there. Everyone I knew who grew up in a place like that hated it but how was I to know? I'd hate it now but I just wanted to belong and be like everyone else. Kids are such conformists.

Now I'm not so sure that place is that great. Most wars are fought over place. This is my place! Get off my place! I have the right to do what I want on my place! You can't tell me what to do when I'm in my place! I tend to get really irritated at people who will kill over "place" and they are doing it all over the world. I would defend my country against armed aggression but not against people who say nasty things about it.

It's been nice and cloudy all day and cool. It finally started raining about ten minutes before I got off work and it was wonderful walking into a nice sprinkle. I enjoyed waiting for the bus and watching it rain. Luckily I did have a dry place to wait. Everything smelled wonderful. The bus was nearly empty. It's the first bus after 5:00 so I was surprised. I had my door open for a while and even now at nearly 9:00 I have my window open. It's so nice.


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Rachel Aschmann 2001.
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