I went for a run today, and I found it. I found the intangible reason why I knew I wanted to move out of LA and into Somewhere Else.
Near the very end of my run, I decided to take a detour into World's Fair Park. We're blessed to have a pretty large and very nice park a few blocks from our apartment (after living in LA, I have decided that I always want to live within walking distance of a communal green space). And as I jogged through the park, I came to a huge stretch called Festival Lawn.
And there were children. And they were playing.
Now, this doesn't seem very exciting or novel. But in West LA, where we lived, there were no children. That sounds strange to say, but it's basically true. There were babies, but there were no children. I think families moved to the neighborhood when they were young professionals, had babies, and then moved away to more family-friendly areas. So although I worked with children for a while, I never encountered them in their natural environment.
This park had a huge playground (that looked SUPER FUN... I want to go back when there are no kids there!). It also had one of those fountains that shoots water from the ground so that kids can play in it. It was the biggest one of those fountains I had ever seen.
There were entire families there, just relaxing. The kids were in their bathing suits, running through the water, the playground, and the grassy fields. They were just... playing and dancing and being exactly how kids should be in the summertime. And I realized how refreshing that was. They were not in ballet class or gymnastics class or modeling class or SAT-Prep-For-Elementary-School class. They were playing, outside, at the park, in their bathing suits. I feel like that is disappearing from places like LA, where the focus is so much on performance that kids aren't allowed to be kids.
And that is what I feel like I was after in wanting to move here. It was one of those sublime moments when you really feel like you've made the right decision. I know it wasn't my decision to move here, ultimately... it was up to God, and Scott. But I knew I wanted here. I want that slower life, to sit in the park with my family while the kids are free to run around. The humidity and the beautiful countryside don't hurt matters either.
I'm so glad that I shook the lack of motivation that kept me in the apartment all day to take a run at twilight. It was so gorgeous and peaceful. And I feel like I'm starting to see part of the way that I will be blessed to live here.