There are so many things to love about a city. The hustle. The twinkling lights. The theater and restaurants. The anticipation of possibilities. In a city you're a wee frog in a big pond, but there's always a chance -- no matter how small -- that if you really want to, if you take a stand and really believe, you can make a difference.
I'm crazy about cities. These days, though, I'm a bit crazier about small towns. There's a simple richness in small towns that big places, as wonderful as they may be, are lacking.
In cities you have traffic jams. In small towns you just have jams, the strawberry or raspberry kind, homemade by a friend and dropped off on your porch.
In cities you're a dog with a bone, pawing your way to the top. In small towns there are dogs, too, of course; like the neighbor dogs, all of whom have barks you recognize. There's also the lady at the bank who, when you exit the drive-through and she sees your pup in the car, includes a milk bone with your deposit receipt.
In New York City there's the Garden, where the Knicks play. In my small-town garden there are no Knicks. Only flowers and a raggedy patch of chives.
Folks ride bikes in cities, speeding past wearing latex suits and stern expressions. In small towns bike riders are usually kids in a different style of suit -- that for swimming -- their towels flapping casually behind as they head for the eastside pool.
I've hovered high above many a city, gliding down toward the runway and taking in the breathtaking landscape of a million lights. Nowadays, now that time has marched on, it's the rising sun over the edge of a nearby hill that does my heart good, a glow of light that promises the possibilities of a new day in a little place where I've known the man who owns the grocery store since he was 13 and where the smiling face of the woman at the post office is the same smiling face of the girl I stood next to at my high school graduation. We don't have skyscrapers here. We don't have a subway or a Broadway or fancy coffee in Internet cafes. We just have each other, and a feeling that, if you really want to, if you take a stand and really believe, there's always a chance you can make a difference.