• Cara Van Leuven

Wait for the Loneliness

They say, “Wait for the loneliness.”

They say, “You will feel isolated.”

They say, “It’s hard to make friends.”

They are wrong. If I was seeking alone time this past week it would have been impossible to find. There simply was no room for the loneliness, isolation and lack of friends.

Thursday after work my dear friend Brittni and her boyfriend were in town for the evening. Britt lives in Mt. Vernon, Illinois. We became friends years ago when we were both carriage drivers downtown.

Brittni and Milton were planning a city evening with a room at Union Station. However, after a margarita and queso we were somehow on the road headed to Grantfork for a different type of hotel – the farmhouse.

First we had to relive a special time in our life; we took a carriage ride in the city. Next was an introduction to Brittni’s L.A.-born-and-bred-city-slicker-boyfriend to country life. He rode Penny. We took him to the local and only bar (also a bowling alley and bocce ball court). Its common patron was outfitted with dirty overalls and bad hair. This was followed with wine at the farmhouse accompanied with great conversation and finally a little sleep.

It was Saturday that I realized the stars must have been aligned when we bought this house. I had fallen in love with its beauty, the perfect setting for horses, etc. Little did I know I was not alone.

Tom and I hosted our first dinner party that night. We invited the equestrian friends I have been lucky enough to make in this area as well as two other horse friends from deep in the heart of St. Louis city. What a dynamic bunch of people. Horse women have to have a certain heart to do what we do – the personalities are strong and pronounced.

The evening unfolded into something magical. It was like living in the loft where being social came so easily, only this involved cars whereas that involved walking. People who live downtown share a common interest, but it best suited me because it was the one place an outsider could find footing within the notoriously cliquish St. Louis circle.

In the country, just like the loft, there are locals and there are friends peppered from the East Coast to outside the soon-to-be-walls of America. But here I can breathe. Yes, the bullfrogs are deafening, but it’s not screaming and sirens and motors.

I had lived so long within lofts that I had completely forgotten my houseplants thrived outside in the warm months. This was pointed out during the dinner party. I tried to pretend I remembered that fact. The reality is that as far as country living goes there are elements I can keep a city grasp on; even more so I’ve got a lot of country to learn, and a lot of city to let go.