I have spent nearly a week here in the old family home in Wesley Chapel. Even my parents came back from Vermont- the first time the whole Delorenzo clan has been in the same place for an extended amount of time in years. It is good to see family, they tend to have a few good things to saw now and then, and are generally agreeable (and the youngest is fun to mess with). We laugh, talk, eat, all the required parts to a decent winter break. We even share some similar sentiments about the suburbs.
For instance, when we come into town we (at least my father and myself) feel.. wrong. When I took the exit to WC and saw the careless drivers and self-important slobs bumbling across the street I felt like I didn’t want to be here. The amount of gluttony here is appalling, and kids these days have no interest in the intriguing parts of life. We agreed that Wesley Chapel is not a place we would stay if the world were ideal. I realize I sound like a stereotype of a curmudgeon when I say these things, but I will manage to survive with that label and it isn’t my point either.
I took a jog around Meadow Pointe in some of my free time. I started out strong, finding rhythm with the fast-paced song that played into my ears from my phone. It was empowering, and kept me going for about half of my total run. At the halfway point, I was nearly dead. I am not a natural runner, and a short stint as an office worker has left me even more out of shape than I usually am. Two miles in I was heaving like an asthmatic carrying another asthmatic on their back.
After a few minutes walking to catch my breath I began again. Yet, this time I changed something. I cast off the headphones that had pulled me forward the first half, and began to listen to my surroundings. The streets were quiet. I had not expected this. I had the music blaring before because I wanted to avoid the commotion I knew would follow, that lives with these tightly packed houses with timed irrigation systems. The quiet was enveloping, even peaceful.
I made the second half of my run in a better fashion than my first. It was exhilarating. Birds followed my path, children laughed in the distance, and my feet padded along the road, content to push on embracing the environment I had attempted to block out with certainty. While I can’t say that it is ideal, I can see why people would manage to exist in this suburban sprawl. If they can find the beauty beyond the material, and past their own preconceptions as to what a suburb should be.
Or they could just buy more stuff and be happy with an even larger TV, or a new sedan with more options than the last.