Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Fight for Space and the Battle with Nature

New Yorkers battle for space every day. Adirodackers battle against nature. We find that New York is about finding your space and negotiating through very limited space on a daily basis, and keeping sane while doing it. In the Adirondacks, we have more space than we can use but we are still soldiers - against the relentless force of nature, flooding the basement, slamming trees into the house, eroding the land. Sometimes, between these two battle fronts, the most peaceful part of our lives is in the car. Getting out of the space-challenged city and whooshing toward freedom and fresh air - it is a long, but quiet and battle-free drive. I think the key to surviving both battles (neither, of course, can be "won") is understanding and practicing accommodation, or - just letting it go. I am not good at this. I see the city as a battle I will win someday and the struggle against nature as something that can, with enough money and willpower, be overcome, or at least the battle can be joined. We will build stone houses that won't decay! We will built breakwaters that will protect the land! It won't work. The land will erode, in the end, and the city will chug ahead, with or without us.

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