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This is Why I Live Here: Connection

I grew up here. I left. I never wanted to come back. I came back. That was 15 years ago. What’s up with that?

Words and photo by laini Abraham

There are many reasons I could list for why I live here. But the most important one is the level of connection living in Easton, and the Lehigh Valley, provides for me. This connection comes in several forms, and no, it’s not about lots of Facebook friends either. It’s something much wider and deeper.

First, this is a place where you can actually feel the connection to the past. Even though this is where I grew up, I’m not talking about my personal past. I’m talking about the centuries of living that happened in this little town before my life even got here. Easton is unique in that it’s been a functioning community for over 400 years. I love the feeling of being in a restaurant that I know has been around for over a century. I love to imagine what the walls would say if they could talk.

Then there’s the way the walkability of the town creates connections. Unlike the suburban neighborhood where I grew up, the neighborhood where I live now (I like to call it the Jewel Box), is completely walkable. I can walk to all kinds of places: some of the best restaurants in the Valley, coffee shops, book stores, my friends’ houses and work. Yes, my commute is four blocks. So as a result of how close everything is, including my neighbors, I feel connected to this community of people. I see them in the morning when I walk to work and during lunch. I see them at the Easton Farmers’ Market every Saturday. I watch their children grow.

Then there’s the natural world. Since I live only two blocks from two rivers, the Delaware and the Lehigh, and the spot where they come together (I call that the confluence), I feel incredibly connected to nature and the bigger picture. Sometimes on a bad day I end up feeling frazzled and ungrounded. That’s when I head for the rivers! I feel like downtown Easton is almost protected by these waters. I go about my little life, and they just keep flowing around it, just like they have for thousands and thousands of years. I feel lucky to get to live with them.

Finally, there’s the future. Although none of us know what will happen, these connections I’ve just mentioned help me feel more secure. Because I feel like a part of a community, a bigger system, I feel like the future here will be ok. For one thing, Easton’s got staying power. For another, we’re all going to the future together. This is why I live here.

This post was inspired by a request to write a piece for Ellen Shaughnessy, Easton Realtor, for her¬†somewhat seasonal newsletter,¬†realTellen. But the “This is Why I Live Here” series is just getting started! Why do you live here? I’d love to know. So write it down (about 500 words or less) and email it to me.


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