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Since the (unexpectedly swift) sale of our house in Raleigh in the spring of this year, Susan and I have been hunkered down in a one-bedroom apartment.  Life in such tight quarters is delightfully ship-like for me, and oppressively cage-like for Susan, despite my forfeiture of the entire bedroom closet and dresser to store the tiny fraction of her wardrobe that was not carted off to the spacious but unoccupied quarters that wait for us in Charleston.  Charleston is where Susan’s lovely 1917 house remains unsold and is the place we have chosen someday to call home for good.  But for now life of a different fashion goes on in Raleigh.

Apartment living is a thing well known to me.  I was raised mostly in rented spaces, and most of those were apartments, not houses.  It has a comfortable, reassuring vibe.  I feel that I am living lightly upon the earth and taking no greater measure of the world’s goods for my own amusement than I can rightly justify.  There is a kind of egalitarian fellowship with others who occupy more or less the same space, in the same area, and tread the same sidewalks to the same stairs, beside the same landscaping and under the same trees.  It’s all quite fine, but some might say there is a defeating uniformity to it.  I beg to differ.

The apartment grounds are impressively well kept and park-like—a vigilance owing, I think, to the fact that the entire, sprawling enterprise belongs to a single person.  As I walked about the place the other day, being towed as usual by a determined Irish terrier, I took a turn in a different direction, down a new sidewalk.  A road less travelled, if you will.   There I passed a building where the entrance was graced by the most lovely and obviously thriving rose bushes.  These are the only rose bushes I’ve seen among the several dozen acres surrounding these apartments. Walking farther, I was wondering what favoritism might buy essay uk have prompted the management to plant roses in front of this particular building and not others when I noticed roses of the same color and type, of equal fecundity, bursting from the patio of a particular ground floor apartment in that same building.  I was clear to me, then, that the resident of that particular unit had taken the time to glorify the tiny place she (or he, perhaps) calls home.

“It is deep in the race,” the father of George Bailey observed, “for a man to want his own roof and walls.”  That’s surely true.  But even when the roof above us and the walls around us are owned by another, it is deeper still in the race to want to beautify our surroundings.  Not all are so disposed, of course, and some may even despair to be a mere tenant in common of the ground beneath their feet, but we are so much the better for the ones who choose to color our world with flowers.  The red roses I saw made my day.

If anyone asks me, I will say I live in a lovely, beautiful home in Raleigh, with a stupendous rose garden—thanks to the kindness and care of others.