Why did the turtle cross the road? He wanted to get to the other side obviously. It’s a joke so simple that any child could tell it, although my version usually involved a chicken. However, that was not the conversation which occurred in my brain as I headed home from work at 3:00 in the afternoon. I instead found myself wondering why that rock in the middle of the road was moving and why on earth it had legs. In my experience turtles are found in zoos or the homes of old friends from elementary school. They are not found in the wild. I was utterly unprepared for one to cross right in front of my car of its own volition as I left work that day.
This is one of many differences that I’m getting used to in my new home. Mornings regularly include melting between my apartment and my car, defogging my car windows in the heat of the summer months, and now watching for the occasional turtle crossing on my way to work. Despite all the changes, I am constantly floored by how lush and green everything is here. The world is teeming with fresh life. I’ve come to the Emerald City where lamp posts look more like wizened tree trunks beneath a mesh of vines, where every roadway is lined by towering sentinels and the sky is obscured by their leafy canopies.
People are generally surprised to find that I left Colorado to live in the flat lands of Indiana. They often ask why. It’s true that I am first and foremost an alpine flower, having previously thrived in the thin dry Colorado mountain air. However, it’s incredibly refreshing to start again somewhere completely different and bloom in new landscape. I’m happy to report that I think I’m starting to get the hang of growing in this new ground, although I’m sure there are many more surprises still to come.