Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My Heart Belongs to Indianapolis

I've spent many years convinced that I belong somewhere else, geographically speaking. I imagine myself living in places that I've visited and many I haven't. Vermont, Maine, Chicago, Portland (OR), Sedona, Flagstaff, Big Sur, and so on. I can't quite say why I've felt driven to leave Indianapolis. Sometimes it's that the state feels pretty conservative. Other times it's that we don't have the right energy or enough culture.

Recently my family and I made a 10 state drive to Maine, with a stop in NYC on the way out and coming back through Vermont, upstate New York and Niagara Falls. I loved my walk in Central Park. Maine and Vermont are beautiful. Niagara Falls is spectacular. I've been on a lot of plane trips and road trips. When I head home, I'm always looking forward to sleeping in my own bed and seeing whatever family I left behind. But I'm never all that excited about Indianapolis itself.

This time, something different happened. As we crossed from Ohio into Indiana, the word home drifted happily through my mind. And it was home in the big sense, not the house where I live sense. Home this time meant a feeling that I belong in this place. Passing through downtown Indianapolis, I was irresistibly drawn to the skyline, imagining what was happening on Massachusetts Avenue or on The Circle. I felt love for my city. My home.

The next morning, I took my daughter for brunch in Broad Ripple before a stop for groceries and the kennel to pick up the dog. Petite Chou, where we sat outside on a beautiful July morning, was its always wonderful yumminess. At Fresh Market, a woman from the floral department walked up to my daughter with a pretty pink rose in her hand and said, "Madame, a rose for you?" And, the people taking care of Daphne at Good Dog Hotel were delightful. In a very short period of time, I was given plenty of evidence that Indianapolis has much to offer.

There are plenty of bright, creative people right here to provide my need for connection and intellectual conversation. The arts community is vibrant. We have richness and diversity. Culture is there. (You just have to look outside the chain restaurant and mall zones.) Really, about everything I need is right here where I already am. What isn't, well, I can visit those other places. I guess my heart does belong to Indianapolis. (I cannot even believe I just typed that!)

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