Dani’s friend Sébastien grew these mushrooms in a cardboard box in his garage. He’s one of those enterprising individuals who gathers rotting fruit from the family garden to make jam, too. So instead of bringing you a YouTube video featuring prison inmates bonding with stray dogs [which undeniably enriched my morning while doing nothing for my skill set], I thought I’d give you this option instead.


The photo reminded me yet again of how disconnected many of us city dwellers can be from the workings of the natural world. I’ve been wanting to grow my own vegetables and spend more time in nature for a while now. It’s one of those things I say often without really doing anything (aside from tending my balcony herb garden) in particular to make it happen.

I had lunch last weekend with a couple of old friends who are feeling the same way. We talked about how many people we know leave the city for the suburbs in order to “gain more space,” only to find that their desires aren’t quenched with that extra room in which to put even more stuff or the fenced-in yard on a street where no one has time to talk to the neighbors because they’ve got to catch the commuter train back to the city in exactly seventeen minutes.

In 2016, I’d like to have more conversations about how we can live better, integrating the best aspects of urban and rural life. For me, I think that means smaller, more human-sized towns and cities with easier access to nature and communal space in which to create and grow things.

Maybe this time it’s not just a hippie dream.



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