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Growing up in New Jersey, I was surrounded by trees, grass, parks and not much industrial exposure. What we all call Suburbia. Coming from Brooklyn, there was a very big difference in the environment. I really did love it though. I am a nature girl at heart so to be surrounded by the suburban backdrop made me happy. I also stayed with Aunt in Long Island almost every summer so that only enhanced my love for this type of atmosphere.

Now, this is not to say I didn’t like the city. Having family in Queens and Brooklyn and hanging out in NYC as a teen kept it alive for sure. But as I got older, my love grew more for the open spaces and cleaner air. The city like areas just felt congested, stuffy and loud. There is a special peace suburbia has to offer and its something I fell in love with more and more. What people call the American Dream, was very much on my mind. The house, the yard, having a family of my own, I would certainly make it happen one day. I am glad to say I did.

This photo was taken in a park on the island a few years ago while working for Patch. I think the parks here are gorgeous and most have so much to offer. As I looked up from where I was standing, it seemed so picturesque. Suburbia at its best. I captured the moment and to this day, I love this shot. In a way it feels like a painting to me, surreal and beautiful. The path so inviting, the trees so lush.

I am happy I placed my family and I in a space where I feel at home. I would never feel comfortable in a city like environment and am grateful I can live where my heart truly lies. I now have my peace and quiet. It’s funny to think about how I dreamed of living in Brooklyn or Queens when I was younger when I wouldn’t even consider it today. I guess that’s what happens when people grow up and change. Even though the one thing that has never changed is my love for the Earth. And now I can experience it everyday in my own backyard.

Inspiration Photo Friday: Suburbia - © Melissa O'Connor-Arena