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Rolling Green

May 26, 2008

When I first moved into the apartment complex I’ve spent the past year in, I was more than a little wary.  But now that I’m here, I have to admit that I wouldn’t have wanted to live anywhere else.  Rolling Green must be the most diverse corner of Amherst, with children from as young as seven and eight to parents well into their middle ages; with blacks, whites, Asians, Latinos, and U-Mass students (a race all of their own); and with a pleasant mix of planned space and wild growth. 

My townhouse is in a set of buildings that encircles a large, grassy commonspace where college students and little kids play football and whiffle ball and where college girls lie out to sunbathe.  Every morning, an Asian woman walks several laps around the circle for exercise.  Some evenings, I walk around it simply to take in the goings on of the neighborhood.

Behind my apartment is a parking lot with a basketball hoop in it.  Now that the weather is warm, there are always kids playing at the hoop, bouncing a ball and shouting “over here, over here” to one another.  Behind the parking lot is a patch of woods with a brook running through it so that I can hear the sound of rustling leaves and running water when the kids go inside for the night.  Next to the concrete patio adjoining our back room, I have a little patch of earth where I’ve planted tomatos and flower seeds that are beginning to sprout with the warm, sunny days and my nightly watering. 

Mostly, I imagine I like this place because it’s the first I can call my own.  I share it with two housemates, but most of the adornment is mine, and most of the housecare usually falls to me as well since I’m the only one who is home consistently.  But I enjoy it, so I don’t mind.  It nourishes me to care for things, to take a break from schoolwork and other preoccupations to take time to be in my surroundings.

Today, this place, and this time, are gifts.  And that’s why they’re called the present.

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