Berkeley is green. Berkeley is familiar and safe. Berkeley is where my extended family originates, and where we always return. Berkeley is a centrally located driving distance away from my grandmother's city of Martinez. Berkeley is home.
Home. My home. There are 20 steps up to my home's front door, and earlier this season, raindrops dripped from my home's ceiling. Not anymore.
Although my parking space covers my car, the complex's maintenance equipment (which includes an assumed non-working stove), and the few neighbor guys who like to smoke their weed there, I've tried to focus solely on the fact that, my parking space, and my home, with all of their flaws are good enough for just a woman and her 9 year old daughter. It's Berkeley living at its finest.
Still, I dream of somewhere that's green.
The kind of green that Emma can turn cartwheels down, through and all around, while our furbaby gives chase. From my special seat atop the balcony, I will look up from my book, and out on them, through the growing tomatoes, green beans, kale, brussels sprouts and other deliciousness. I'll even give a wave to my sister in-law, just across the way. I may or may not turn down an invitation from Emma to come join in the play or rinse a little of the new desert sun off with a swim. For, there will probably be dishes to load into the dishwasher, or clothes to wash and dry in our laundry room.
Those creature comforts. The extra storage space, the schools right down the street, the shopping center within walking distance. This time the rent would actually be worth the living, but the possibility to be free of hardship will come at a price.