The other day, I wrote about some of my frustrations of being car free, namely, rain, especially rain in autumn.
Today was a cool day. The sun peeked in and out of the clouds. My son and I took the dogs for a walk of more than two miles. Then he walked with me to work. I asked him whether he liked being car free. He said he did. I told told him that I liked that I saw our city in a different way. I mentioned riding the bus yesterday (Thursday) and the fact that while we rode the flex bus, the driver went down a road I had never been on. I gave me a new perspective.
A couple weeks ago, we walked through a rain garden on a street that isn’t a street any more. It was a street along a creek that seemed to flood annually, so the city bought out the homeowners and turned the land into a rain garden. The sidewalk is still there, as are the streetlamps, curbs and street trees. What’s missing is the street itself and the houses. In their place native prairie flowers are growing. If we had been driving, we would have never come across the garden. The first time we went there, it was raining (how appropriate, rain in a rain garden). A few days later, my son and I went back. It was a sunny day, the only cloud we saw looked like a heron or kingfisher.
That, I think is the beauty of being car free. We’re experiencing our city in new ways. We’re interacting with it in ways we never would inside an automobile. And for that I am grateful.