I love this town. A liberal little bubble, Decatur doesn’t ever let you forget you’re in Georgia, rather it seduces you into believing that Georgia is kinder and more progressive than it really is. We’ve got a well planned pedestrian downtown with some of the best food in the metro area. We’ve got schools — public schools — that people move here for. We did, and it was life-changing.

I love this neighborhood. I jog its streets, sheltered by the tree canopy, and feel like Le Petit Prince on a small planetoid, my path folding back on itself like that’s all there is. I know lots of folks here, and although I still have lots to meet, it actually seems achievable to befriend them all. The school, our school, it’ll always be, the core of the neighborhood, its beating heart. It meters out each year in snow cones, smores, and songs.

I love this street. I’ve made friends here, real ones. We are a tribe. All the kids, burgeoning before my eyes, I love them like family.

I love this house. It’s inefficient, quirky, and smallish — which is to say that it’s cozy and charming. The sunny kitchen has cheered me through many hours. The quiet green of the backyard, the tall trees swaying gently, the crickets and the fireflies, the bright winter moon through the skylights. I will miss this place. Part of me will stay behind.

We’ve lived here for over six years now. That’s longer than I’ve lived anywhere since before college. It feels more like home than any of my prior residences, because of the years, and because of the days.

Living in this house I became a songwriter, a runner, a music teacher. Every tooth our kids have lost so far, we lived here for them all.

We’re moving because we need to, there are reasons that make sense. And I know our roots will thicken again, and our new home may even become as much home as this one is. So in the time that’s left, I’m just trying to seize the essence of the place, to stuff as much of it in my pockets as I can. And maybe when we grow the new future, we can graft it on.