Sunday, July 22, 2012


Biking through Natick today, where I spent the first 18 years of my life.  In the second 18, I've traveled all over the world.  But my roots are still here, in this town.

Looking at Natick as an adult, it's an idyllic place.  A Main Street of shops and cafes - from art and yoga studios to hardware and liquor stores.  The Natick Common, a green space with a gazebo, and outdoor concerts and events all year.  High-quality public schools, suburban neighborhoods where kids can still ride bikes in the street.  I was reading recently about the loss of the American Dream; but as far as I can see, Natick embodies it.

As an adolescent, I hated the neatness and simplicity of it all.  I always had a taste for the grandiose and dramatic, and dreamed continually of worldly sophistication - of travel and adventure and rough edges.  Natick always seemed sterile.  The ways people here connect to their community - things like gardening, and getting involved with local politics and sports teams - never made sense to me.

I was thinking today how my sister and I both rebelled at Natick's civility in our own ways.  She has found her comfort zone in environments of poor, victimized women; I've surrounded myself with non-English-speaking circus people.

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