Why is the question most people ask when they find out I drive at least a hour to get to work.
Loving my job helps. As does leaving early enough that I avoid the highway in the morning (that pleasure is saved for the afternoon commute). But the main reason for living so far away is the feeling of peace that begins as soon as I leave the city limits and head north.
By the time I pull onto our quiet street, the pressures of the day have evaporated; my shoulders unclench, my foot eases off the gas and my eyes start scanning for the beauty that is all around me.
I have had porcupines, skunks, raccoons and deer cross my path. I have seen a trio of turkey vultures enjoy a meal, watched as a male wild turkey show off and noticed an osprey fly over ahead with a fish still gasping for breath in its talons.
I have seen a red fox hunt a mouse and catch it, and kept pace as another walked down the road with a dead rabbit in its mouth. I have snorkeled with fish and dove out of the way as a hawk skimmed the surface of the water where I was swimming. I have followed minks and fed chickadees out of my hand. I am sure I saw a wolf once.
Why do I live so far from work? Why doesn’t everyone?