With the bore and predictable nature of suburbia, the prospect of adventure always recharged the life into me. Rows of the same looking houses sat down roads with identical looking trashcans or driveways, all set in a specific plan and placement. Too neat and too quiet and mechanical. All those straight lines make life dull.
Only a two-minute venture from my house could I find my sanctuary. Though the forest lay within a groomed square nestled amongst the order of the neighborhood, within that square, the disorder was just right. The chain link fence, like one you would see at a prison, kept the chaos inside. The wild was within and away from the perfection of the outside, to avoid tainting it.
The disarray, it burst at the seams and oozed out. The trees reached over the barricade, as if trying to grasp the outside world and escape. Vines and roots spread themselves up the patterned squares of the chain fence, coating them in new lines and random arrangements. Small saplings and sprouts that had found their way across the barrier reached for the new sky, relishing in the freedom of the open place. A few days later, a man would run over the baby trees with a giant lawnmower. The vines would be snipped back and ripped from the cold metal fence. The trees outstretched hands would be cut back so they no longer wanted to reach over the line between wild and controlled. He cut it back and things would be order. Their escape had been foiled again. I wish that man never did that.
It only took a few steps and a climb to escape the organized harmony. Instantly, immediately, right away everything changed. The air was different, the sounds were different, and the smells were different. The air felt fresh and healthy to breathe, the sounds of living things moving, oh the constant movement. Cheeps and caws and clicks and rustling.
Inside it was anarchy, untouched by the threat of unity and organization. Lots of sounds and scutters of animals and sharp thorns. They’d get caught on my legs as I parted the shrubs. I could find my way.
There was the creek with a path of stones conveniently placed for a wanderer like me. The longer I stayed, the less of a foreigner I became, and more of a citizen did I become. I was no stranger, in fact, I became nothing at all, I was a part of the green scenery and aura.
I did not stay long, I was needed elsewhere. I had to go back, back to straight lines and the pristine structure of everyday life. I retraced my steps. Over the fallen tree, past the thorn bushes, down the ravine, and across the creek. Then I had to scale the chain link fence, the unwelcoming gate between my world and the other. It was not fair. I came back again another day. Probably a Friday afternoon or Saturday or Sunday. That was back then. I do not go there anymore. I’ve become a slave to the routine life I used to hate so much. At least I know that there will always be a swathe of wild for me to return to.