Wednesday, September 7, 2011

September is here...

Well, summer in Uptown is over. We still have many more days of warm weather and even better, cool nights. Perfect for a bonfire. July and August were too hot for marshmallows to be roasting.

On a bus back from Nebraska yesterday, I partly dreaded coming back. Not because I love the suburban life of Omaha. Each time I go back to the suburban lifestyle, whether in Illinois, Wisconsin or Nebraska, I don't miss the quiet streets. The houses and trees still, no one is outside on their green lawns. No children running around or people hanging about. Coming from an introvert, that might sound just fine. But I miss the signs of life. And there is life in the suburbs... somewhere. You just have to go searching for it.

The city is full of life.

This is the part that I dread but also the part that also pours its life into me. To be constantly faced with and interacting with people, rarely alone, a girl like me gets worn out. It's worth it, though. I'm seeing more and more the beauty and worth of city life. The opportunity in its lit-up glimmer of downtown and its dirty, rat-infested streets of the unkempt neighborhoods.

Driving into Chicago is an impressive site. No matter what season, there is an excitement and pride that stirs within, especially when that city is home. As glorious as the highrises of downtown are, I pass by them without jealousy. A highrise intact with amenities and a doorman, a parking space and a pool is a very similar lifestyle as the suburbs. Quiet. Undisturbed. Kept to oneself.

For me, living where I live is the perfect place to experience community. To be a part of a community. Each time I look out my window, someone is there. A conversation to be had, a smile to be given or received. Without this easy-access family, I would probably stay inside. Going out when necessary, or when I do want to be around people, but it wouldn't be too often.

This past weekend was a delightful time spent with family. Dear, loved ones. We barely left the house. We did use that green grass in the backyard, and my nephew played in the sandbox. Neighbors helped my brother with their roof. Old friends came for a first birthday party. Life was in the house. My brother and sister-in-law did a fantastic job of loving their neighbors and friends this weekend. I'm proud of them. It is this quiet, loving life, I dreaded leaving.

That is their life, though, and I have mine. I have my neighbors, my friends, and people I consider family. It is a busy, busy life. It is a life willing to be interrupted.

To be quite honest, city life is not "the life for me", so the saying goes. City life is where God has placed me now -- and I thank Him for speaking so directly to me. My energy, as much as I wish it came from the bright lights and buildings of Chicago or simply the people walking its streets, is not fueled by these things, it seems. My energy comes from a heart and spirit fueled by Christ. By a Spirit living inside of me. His interactions through me burn, passion pulsing through my blood.

Fall is beautiful, even in the city. I'm looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to the abundance of the summer relationships we have made growing and bearing fruit in this next season. May my heart be ever drawn nearer to the Giver of Life.


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