home? Living in the Nation’s Capital feels like sharing an apartment with a daunting giant who rules the world while we, his roommates, go quietly about our business. We live in the shadow of power. While some of our neighbors make decisions that affect the globe, we’re trying to remember what’s on your list at the grocery store.
Raising kids in this area has unique advantages. Every day they come into contact with people from other cultures, religions and backgrounds. It is likely that they will have less prejudices and greater compassion for people whose customs differ from theirs. Our neighborhoods are slowly integrating and the boundaries blurring. We have concerns about immigration, but when we actually get to know a newcomer, we realize that she is independent, hard working and a visionary, who wants nothing more but a better life for herself and her family.
Choices, we have so many living here. We don’t actually have to shop online, because most items are available within driving distance of our homes. We feel safe most of the time, and we can dine in restaurants representing every ethnic cuisine imaginable. The majority of our friends share our care for humanity, the environment and the economy. Citizens of this region willingly share their good fortune, even they grumble about it occasionally. The area is known for its spirit of volunteerism.
Mostly, we obey the laws, try not to endanger other people and ourselves, and respect nature whenever we have the rare opportunity to enjoy it. We want to learn, long after formal schooling is over, by reading and visiting our magnificent museums. We like the change of seasons, except when the humidity makes us weak at the knees. We hate driving, but we do it a lot. We have geographical choices – lakes, oceans, mountains and beaches, along with parks, urban and suburban. We can enjoy sports as individuals or as a spectator – on the courts and fields, or in the privacy of our living room. While we often indulge our pets, we also share our world with wildlife like squirrels, bees and deer.
We feel proud of our hometown; because so many people would like to reside here too. It costs a lot to live here, but we think it’s worth it, so we struggle to afford our homes and luxuries. We get giddy when the cherry blossoms come out, no matter how many times we walked among their cotton candy petals.
We care passionately about our government, the candidates, the leaders and even the interns. Do they like it? Will they go home and tell the rest of America how great it was to work in the marble offices and sweeping malls? They ought to. We know it’s special.
We aren’t New York, Los Angeles or Dallas. We represent the pulse of the country and the founders of democracy. He’s our giant Lincoln and our regal Jefferson and the Vietnam Memorial is our wall of perished veterans. We are entrusted to keep them safe and cared for. We welcome others to visit anytime and share our pride. Even if we complain a lot about the traffic and the lack of style, it’s still home, it is where our hearts are.
Freelance writer and photographer specializing in vivid, deeply reported stories about food, travel and family.