My City

 /   /  By Emma Birches
Stone Soup Magazine
March/April 2005

By Maya Vilaplana, Illustrated by Camille Hoang Mai Davis

As the snow season ends, about two months late, I look out my window and see my beloved city. It is late at night, and still the bustle of the city sounds as alive as the day, more alive possibly. Streetlights shine in a line and light up the darkness. Buildings flicker on and off as the city that never sleeps settles and dims.

I love my city.

My mother loved her city. San Francisco was her home and she always dreamt of going back to it. More space, more nature, more family, where it is so beautiful with trees and gardens that fill the country with fragrant smells and colorful flowers. I suppose that she missed the silence that greeted her as she drifted off to sleep there. Each time we drove by a house for sale, she would have to pull over and check it out.

My City looking out the window

There is beauty when you look out my bedroom window; you just have to find it

I have to admit, it is nice to be there, so close to my family, more space, my own room! And recently, I am considering more the life in California, rather than in New York, where in my two-bedroom apartment, I can’t run outside to my backyard, or take my dog for a walk (a dog would not like living in my house). But this city is my home, and even though it might not be the most perfect place, with the best smells, or weather, I enjoy the presence of it. I like the busy streets, and the feeling that I get on a spring day walking down the sidewalk, the freedom engulfs me and I love it. Or so I thought. Now it doesn’t seem as big of a deal to me. My two opinions bicker and fight over which place I should belong to.

But I know that there are different kinds of beauty in the world. There is the natural beauty, that one can’t help but recognize, and there is the beauty that you grow to love and live with. The kind that settles in your heart, never to leave. Once you have seen a different place, once you have been a city girl, nothing will ever be the same. It’s like when you go to Japan, and when you get back, no sushi can satisfy you because you’ve had the very best.

My loyal city is always there. Every night as I lie in bed, I watch my city move, and listen to my city’s honking sounds. The sounds ring like the anxious chattering in the schoolroom on a warm spring day.

A home is a place that you love, that you go to after everywhere else, and it greets you with a sense of belonging that you can’t get anywhere else.

There is beauty when you look out my bedroom window; you just have to find it.

My City Maya Vilaplana

Maya Vilaplana, 11
New York, New York

My City Camille Wang Mai Dayis

Camille Wang Mai Dayis, 11
Palo Alto, California

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