THE PLACE WHERE YOU LIVE
Orion readers write about their homeground
Deborah Rose Reeves
MY HUSBAND WANTS LAND. He digs through websites, hoping to
uncover a patch we could a=ord. I want it
too, but it hurts to see him look at places
someone else will live on, or subdivide.
It’s not our time, yet. We plant pennies in
our bank account and watch them grow
too slowly. In the meantime, we live in a
condo in the city.
The Homeowners’ Association does
not allow window boxes. Our window
faces north and has been blocked by scaffolding all winter anyway. The spider plant
is drooping as a result; I don’t know how
to help it in this place. I fill mason jars
with dried hydrangeas, hang photographs
from travels past on our bare, white walls,
images of betel nut trees and marigolds,
vegetables in a market, chili peppers drying in the sun. Prayer flags flutter in the
breeze that whirs through the heating
system’s air vent. Air conditioner, washer-dryer, refrigerator: our one-room loft cicada sounds.
We take advantage of the city while we
can. We enjoy it in the knowledge we’ll
one day live far away from museums and
bars and theaters. At an ancient-crafts
exhibit, I stare at little trinkets and tools
that were pulled out of the earth, shards of
once-useful things pieced back together.
There is time for anything. Everything is
The rain on our window makes a silvery
network of furrows that looks like tilled
fields in morning fog. This is our land,
I tell my husband, staring down at the
rooftop of a neighboring building where
some industrious, hipster microbrew-
ers attempt to grow hops. We lie on our
backs on the floor and look for shapes and
things that look like other things in the
concrete ceiling. That looks like a chicken
coop, he says. Those swirls there are sort
of like a snow-pea plant, I laugh. And this
is a gentle creek. And this is a woodstove.
And that’s a beehive. And there we are, I
point! See us? See?
W. S. Robinson
DON’T BO THER looking for it on a map. There might be a dozen of