Saturday, April 13, 2013

Is This Hyperbole, or am I Exaggerating?

No personal photos this time. I was too busy driving -- and gawking. I attended a meeting on Mercer Island this week, and had to arrive early so I could find the place. This being only my second time ever on The Island, I had a good look around.

I've heard that "island life" is a little different, no matter what island it is. There's the whole transportation thing, having to rely on ferries or bridges to get to the mainland. Seems like that would make you consider the necessity of each trip and consolidate off-island errands whenever possible. Then, when you're on the island, make the most of its quieter, slower pace.

Methinks Mercer Island has the "slower pace" thing nailed down. (Here's where the hyperbole comes.) The highest speed limit I found was a mere 35 mph. Residential streets were narrow and they  *ALL*  had speed bumps! Everywhere, speed bumps! The winding road that circles the southern two-thirds of the island had to be shared with bicycles, but they were going nearly the speed limit so it wasn't really advantageous to pass them even if you could find a wide enough place to do so.

Some of the homes were very upscale, set into the woods for a natural effect or surrounded by meticulously groomed gardens. One house was perched on the edge of a gully, road on one side and steep drop-off on the other. No grass to mow there!

All of this made me think about how the location and situation of your home has much to do with your lifestyle. If you live in the city, you've got people and traffic and busy-ness all around, all the time. Out in the country on acreage, there's a necessary degree of self-sufficiency. The suburbs? Well, I guess I have some of the hustle and bustle but not the easy public transportation of the city, and a little space but more access to consumer conveniences than the country. Middle ground.

Another lifestyle consideration is participation in community. The closer you are to people (geographically), the more you are a part of their lives as you see one another frequently. Country life benefits from neighborly interdependence, but maybe there's more intentionality required.

I enjoy reading a blog by a Canadian gal living "in community" in Amsterdam. She and her husband live in an apartment, but she is very much a part of a close-knit group of Christians who are committed to sharing their lives together. Interdependence is a balance, and Brenda occasionally shares in some detail what it means to be part of a wholly intentional community.

Thanks for reading my ponderings this morning.

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