Before the pandemic hit, I was living in an outlying but still fairly dense San Francisco neighborhood. I was in a small two-story house packed into a tight row of similar houses. The houses had no front yards and small back yards. A few months after the pandemic started, I decided to temporarily move to my hometown, a town of 60,000, about a 45 minute drive from Sacramento.
Before the pandemic, I liked urban living. I liked being close to the action of lively areas like the Mission District in San Francisco. But I’m now learning to appreciate the ranch-style suburban home with a spacious front and back yard.
Yesterday on a couple of work breaks I just went out and sat on my porch for a few minutes. The light breeze in the trees, birds and squirrels, cars passing by. It was very relaxing, a refreshing break from looking at a computer screen all day.
It’s really very nice to have a big, lush yard. To look out onto it. Walk around it, just taking it in. Take care of it, water it. To sit on the porch and just be present, soak it in. Home is important. It’s my little corner of the world. Having a more spacious home with a bigger yard is just nicer than being in a cramped home with a small yard.
Cities still have their advantages, or they will once things get back to normal. But like many others, I am gaining a new appreciation for suburban living during this pandemic. As cities lose some of their luster and less dense areas feel safer. It’s an interesting reversal of what seemed like a recent trend in favor of more urban living. And it will be very interesting to see how this all plays out over the next few years.