Living in a Forest

A solar energy company just informed me that installing solar panels on the roof of my house won’t be effective: too many trees that block out the sun. They’re right. I live in a forest. Trees of every variety surround me. And at this time of year, they are ablaze with color with yellow, orange, and red leaves predominating.

This in the middle of a city—Columbia, Maryland. Established in 1967 by businessman James W. Rouse, it has a population of 105,412 and is 32.19 square miles in area. It has three large lakes (and many smaller bodies of water I call ponds) and ten self-contained villages. Much of its territory is taken up by forested park land joined by walkways—one can walk throughout the entire city area without ever leaving the woodlands. And I regularly see wild animals—deer, rabbits, foxes, and several I can’t identify, not to mention squirrels by the dozens.

The leaves are starting to fall. I can now make out through the trees the outlines of houses across the pond behind my house. Within a month or so, the leaves will be gone, and I’ll be able to see my neighbors’ homes plainly. The ground will be thick with leaves, and I’ll have to get out with a blower, rake, and wheelbarrow to clear the walks and driveway.

I live, in short, in the most beautiful city I’ve ever come across. It’s also one of the most expensive. But I’m blessed with a generous annuity. So I’m free to enjoy the glory surrounding me without concern.

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