(Sometimes it’s tough to feel at home in your own city. Which is why I’ve given myself a challenge: each day, for forty days, I’m going to find *one* thing I love about this place. And then I’m going to tell you about it. If you want to follow my journey, start here. Today is Day Forty).
This morning, Thomas and I climbed in the Volvo, drove to the top of Mill Mountain, and stood on the overlook with all the other out-of-towners.
I shot photo after photo of my city unfurled beneath me, just like they did.
I wanted to see this place from above:
And then we got back in the car, followed the dips and curves of Walnut Avenue into downtown.
We hiked up the staircase in the Center in the Square building. We took the elevator up to the rooftop overlook. And I stood there with my body pressed to the railing, taking in the train speeding past the Taubman Museum, the afternoon sun winking off the top of the Wells Fargo building.
Because also, I wanted to see this place from within.
I guess that’s what these last 40 days have been about.
If I’m honest, I feel like I’ve been living in a dark garret bedroom for the longest time, and someone has boarded over all the skylights.
And maybe that person was me.
But now I’m hauling the ladder to the center of the room; I’m climbing the rungs; I’m lifting the crowbar.
And at first pressure, nothing gives. But I angle the bar in harder; I use my whole body for leverage.
Put your back into it, kid.
And suddenly I can feel the creak of the nails coming loose; suddenly there is a splintering crack and the wood falls away — a clatter of boards and dirty gray light flooding the room; dust spinning in the beams.
I take a breath, unsure of myself.
I unlatch the skylight.
I pull myself up to the roof.
I stand, pale and soft-bodied, blinking in the blinding light…
Maybe this is where gratitude begins.