Letter: Making a new home in North Adams, Berkshires

Posted

To the editor:

Finding home is a lot like falling in love: it may appear to you when you least expect it, or be that place you've known all your life. It carries different forms, evolves over time, can be intimate or grand, and is too often a luxury. Many seek it out, while some resolve to live without it.

I never gave it much thought. Throughout my 20s, I was more concerned with having experiences than building a home. I came to the Berkshires from New York City as a 25-year-old in search of more opportunities and adventures. I didn't equate "winding up" in the Berkshires to "making a home" for myself. But my experiences here, like falling in love, amounted to something more.

The Berkshires and I have been courting each other for over six years. Throughout this time I have seen successes and setbacks, made lifelong friends, reached professional milestones and used community resources. However, I was never sure if the Berkshires were truly where my heart was. Until this past week.

As I was driving back to my apartment in North Adams from a weekend trip to central New York, where I grew up, I crested the mountains on the border of Williamstown and watched the setting sun color the earth and sky pink. I passed familiar streets, businesses, and landmarks along Route 2 and under the dazzling sky I realized I was in love with this place.

Two days later, my appointment to the new Public Arts Commission was approved by the North Adams City Council. I posted this news on my Facebook page and watched as this update received more "likes" and nods of approval than anything I had mentioned, announced or discussed to date. It was then I realized that the Berkshires love me back.

I have much to be thankful for this year, and am thankful for this fact alone. I have tried to recognize and appreciate my good fortunes each day and hope to continue to do so every day in the years that follow. I also mourn the tragedies that constantly strike us — the momentary struggles and heartbreaks my friends face to the losses that communities suffer across the globe. But finding home has restocked the love I have to give to those I can touch, and given me a deeper appreciation for the life I have built in this special community.

Julia Dixon, North Adams


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