When I moved to the suburbs of Rochester almost two years ago, it was with some concern. I had lived in rural Pennsylvania all my life prior to the move. There were things that I knew I was going to miss. For example, I was going to miss the rare evening when I would look out the dining room window and see a black bear wandering through the yard, looking for food. I’d miss the twice daily trek of wild turkeys through the backyard during the winter as they came for the corn my father put out for them. One of the beautiful things about my life back home is that it was a nice area, surrounded with the beauty of nature.
But I gave that up, knowing I needed some changes in my life. I knew that I needed to get out where I could meet more like-minded people. I needed to find an area where I had more socialization options than going to church or going to the bar, neither of which appealed to me all that much. So I gave up my nice comfortable life in the middle of nowhere and moved to suburbia in an overgrown town along Lake Ontario. And almost two years later, I’m happy to admit that it was quite possibly one of the best decisions of my life.
I’ve come to like the fact that I live in an area where everything I want is within a five block radius of my home. I love the fact that if I decide I want to go out for a bit and do some reading or writing while surrounded by others, I have five or six different coffee houses to choose from. (And that’s not including the Great Abomination, Starbucks.) I like the fact that there’s a significant number of gay people and Pagans (and not to mention gay Pagans) that there are clubs and organizations set up for everyone to get together and socialize.
And yet, I’ve also discovered that while I may no longer have a black bear traipse through my yard, I can still find the beauty of nature here in this busy city. Rochester has no shortage of parks, and all of them are quite beautiful. My favorite one right now is Genesee Valley Park. Just yesterday, I was there and had two mallard ducks waddle past me, not six feet from where I stood. It was an incredible experience, and I even had to call a friend just to tell someone about it.
I’ve grown to truly love this area. In fact, I’m coming to think of it as home, which is not something I expected to happen when I originally moved here.