Lucky me. A house with a crackerjack view.
A bonus, it turned out.
Five years ago, I moved into what I called an "evolving neighborhood," which essentially meant that I expected, for a chunk of my immediate future, to awaken to the sounds of backhoes and concrete trucks, hammer strikes and power nailers.
Then arrived that teetery economy you might have heard something about. And my imagined intimacies with heavy equipment thudded to a halt, my evolving neighborhood one big goose egg that never hatched.
But more than pollination was going on in the weedy vacancies: incubation, apparently, as last fall there began a rumble. Followed by a convoy of dump trucks. Then flatbeds loaded with lumber and trusses. Soon, houses began to erupt from the intermittent gaps on my side of the street. Houses which have subsequently begun erupting with people, neighborly people.
So, no real surprise last month when I noticed surveyor's markers in the empty field across the street. And this morning, on my computer screen, detailed development plans provided by the city. But wouldn't you just know it: in these intervening years I've grown mighty fond of that view of no houses beyond my front windows: the meadow and its shifting colors; the scurry and freeze of killdeer; clouds chugging across the sky, the hawks floating and diving; the black locomotive of weather powering in from the west. If I squint and look to the north and west, I can see the ant line of traffic coming into town on Coburg Road. And there's the county land behind, where backyard burning is seasonally allowed, from which the acrid smoke rises in tiny columns before dissipating into the wind. Not to mention all the poems which have come to me from that field, merely by the act of my looking out into it.
Despite all the obvious signs of change, it was just this past weekend that I realized this would be the final summer I'd have this view, this bonus of the past five years. I'm stoic, reminding myself of the evolving neighborhood of my original euphemism. Certainly there will be new vistas to enjoy: the growth of the houses (which I actually find a compelling process), the arrival of newcomers, finches and jays in the street trees, the night views with others' windows lit up, lives revealed from the inside out. To my future neighbors who will inherit their own transient moment with my view, I hope that it fills you as much as it has me.
And now to haul a lawn chair to the third floor bathroom. If I arrange it "just so" on the platform of the tub, I'll be able to watch the colors on the Coburg hills ebb and flow in the evening light.
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