I live in a house on a cul-de-sac, so I’m certain that every car driving South past my house will eventually turn around and head North back to the main street.
For the past forty years I have lived in a house on a cul-de-sac. When I was walking in my neighborhood last weekend I wondered about the implications of that choice.
First, I don’t like the sound of traffic. Whenever I stay in a hotel in Manhattan, I think that there must be a lot of fires or sick people there because the annoying sound of sirens is nonstop.
Second, I prefer my home to remain private. No salesperson or Halloween trick-or-treater has ever knocked at my door.
Finally, all of my mail is directed to my office. At home I only open the mailbox once a month to clear out the flyers and junk mail.
I realize that in my life I work either at 100% of capacity, or 0%. There is no in-between, no second or third gear. I’m a little like my Tesla that accelerates from zero to 60 mph in three seconds. At my office I’m always moving at 60 mph. At home I pretty much remain at zero.
When I was growing up my father had a work of art above his desk in the den inscribed with the saying, “Let me live in a house by the side of the road, and be a friend to man.” Perhaps the location of my home allows me to live by those words, written by the poet Sam Walter Foss more than a century ago.
There are hermit
souls that live withdrawn
In the peace of their self-content;
There are souls, like stars, that dwell apart,
In a fellowless firmament;
There are pioneer souls that blaze their paths
Where highways never ran;-
But let me live by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.