Did I choose Ithaca or did Ithaca choose me? I ponder that question often. Do we ever feel called to a place? I feel called to the two professions I have been privileged to practice. Not like a voices in my head ala Berkowitz kinda way but more like an intuitive feeling. You know that you know that something is right.
After years of journaling, I wanted a more authentic life. To me, that meant being in a more natural area (less asphalt more trees). I wanted a radical change of my environment. I was ready to escape suburbia, and big city practices. I was tired of the parking, the traffic, the disconnect, the running from place to place, the rat wheel, and the mindlessness.
Now not everyone gets Ithaca. It is not heaven, merely a nice city nestled here in the Fingerlakes. I can appreciate it in contrast to so many other places I have lived, and so many more places I have visited. Ithaca is merely relative. My closest friends advised a psychological evaluation when I told them I was moving here. Why would you leave the paradise of South Florida? Why would you leave all of this? The swimming pools, the hot weather, the resources, the simple flat roads, the brand new homes, the shopping, and the abundance of money. Why indeed?
Well it now almost four years later... and I can say that Ithaca can grow people the way that it grows flowers and plants, this is a fertile place both figuratively and literally. I could have only imagined what community really means and the communities that surround Ithaca encompass more than just land, they embody caring, I have never in my life met more down to earth, honest to goodness, authentic people, for better or worse who embrace who they are... warts and all!