Friday, July 19, 2013

People and Places Ramble Late at Night Because It Has Been a Swell Day

I visited Atascadero, California today for just an hour. I got to have coffee with a guy I knew as a student when I was on staff with InterVarsity. He's the kind of guy you want to be around. And the weather was cool and the town seemed charming and the coffee place (Bru) had an expansive back patio where we sat in the sunshine and I got to hear about this friend's life face to face. As much as I love Facebook, it doesn't compare to face to face. Not ever. 

Before we left, I got to give my friend a hug and he gave me one of his band's CDs - Lakes, The Agreement, which I listened to with pleasure as we drove through the trees to Avila Beach. 

And now more than twelve hours have passed and my shoulders are burned and I got to build sandcastles with my kids and watch one of them try out a Boogie Board and I sat and listened to the waves and watched the pelicans. And at the end of the day I thought for the millionth time about the place I live. 

I'm drawn to people more than places. I can say that honestly. But what would it be like to choose a place to live that I was drawn to as much as a person? Because I could have sat there for nine more hours with Matt. And I could drive ten more times to the beach to get to talk to Kim in the car. But eventually I'd wear them out with my questions. And neuroses. So what if I could find a place I loved and go there and live? Have coffee, meet more people, kayak, hike, rake leaves, watch birds, be. And it couldn't get tired of me because it's not a person. And I wouldn't get tired of it because, presumably, I would choose so well...

But what if with cities, like people, you can choose well but then get bored or fickle and want something new? And what if I'm just trying to fulfill some longing in me for the ideal place to live but it only exists in Heaven? Does this mean I have to stay in Vegas and yearn like crazy whenever I take a road trip to places like Boulder, Colorado or Atascadero, California? It probably does, for now. It's comforting to know that my fallback for not finding the perfect city is that there are so many cool people out there and they're everywhere. And those days when you get to sit with a cool person in a pretty cool coffee shop or on a nice beach... those days make me think of Heaven.