Memphis, March 2013.

Crepe Myrtles, March 2013

We live in a suburb, built just inside the easternmost edge of the city limits, away from the hustle of downtown commotion. The planners were thoughtful in their design, carefully laying out our blocks on a grid so the neighborhoods would be easy to navigate by foot or bicycle, the shops and restaurants easy to find.

Our suburban landscape offers a variety of flower and foliage, along with a wide mix of architectural styles. The backyards are small but the front porches generous. The streets are wide and welcome walkers, runners, bicycles and strollers. Though there are variations by block, the central theme is the same: good neighbors make good neighbors, at least that’s designers’ intent. The houses are close, the walkways open.

Our suburb is at its finest around Easter, when the azaleas, camellias, daffodils, dogwoods and redbuds bloom, and the trees have tender green leaves not yet weathered by the summer’s hot sun.

Camillias, March 2013

This Easter morning, as in recent years, the adults on our block gathered in the street, coffee in hand, while the children raced for the bounty of brightly colored, candy-filled eggs. Morning stretched to noon, mid-day and early evening, connected throughout by good food, good drink and good company. The yards saw tree climbing, lacrosse tossing, and umbrella strolling. The porches heard politics, religion, cooking, and child-rearing.

We live in a suburb, built over a hundred years ago on the easternmost edge of town. Now it’s the heart of a city, starting anew.

Pink umbrella, March 2013