Our Home in Paradise

Image: (Nature video)

One of the pipe dreams I occasionally entertain is that I have found a way to live on a Hawaiian island. And since this is a complete fantasy I make certain my island home is situated at the end of a long dirt road and that it sits on a rocky outcropping, surrounded by a merrily sloshing surf and whales that salute me with blowhole water jets as they swim past.

It’s a lovely, impossible scene.

But now with the publication of new research we discover that our actual planetary home in the Milky Way is on the outer edge of a vast collection of galaxies that connect through gravity as a supercluster now called Laniakea, which means “Immeasurable Heaven.”

Finally, a Hawaiian name I can add to my address.

It is coastal property, sort of. But rather than overlooking the water we are one with the current, flowing with neighboring galaxies in a long, thin line towards “a gravitational dense basin of galaxies known as the Great Attractor.”

I’m somehow comforted by the knowledge that everything here is being pulled towards The Great Attractor. It explains so much about our behavior. And I’m glad it’s a GREAT attractor that’s dragging us along and not some dumb little diversion that leads absolutely nowhere.

So three months from now, when icy pellets are flying past your window and the temperature is -20, remember that none of this can change the fact that you live on the edge of Laniakea.

Where is the most beautiful place you’ve lived?

46 thoughts on “Our Home in Paradise”

  1. Good morning. None of the places I have lived, in real life, are very beautiful. In my dreams I have lived in a cabin out in the North woods in the wilderness. A second choice would be a home along the shore of Lake Superior. For several years we lived along Wild Cat Creek in Indiana. This was not really a beautiful place because the creek was not very clean and the land was not in good shape. However, it had the potential to be developed in a good looking place.

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  2. I was going to say I’ve only ever lived in the Twin Cities, but technically that’s not true. I spent a semester in Chicago, finishing my fairly useless MLS degree. Chicago is an impressive city, not a beautiful one, but the part of Chicago I was in, River Forest, was a well-to-do suburb full of lovely houses (supposedly it was where the gangsters had bought houses for their mothers, so it had always been a very safe neighborhood). The next burb over was Oak Park with the wonderful Frank Lloyd Wright house and museum (I managed to visit at least twice during my stay). Having said that, these days I live several blocks from Minnehaha Creek and a mile or two from Minnehaha Falls, so I guess Minneapolis really is the most beautiful place I’ve ever lived.

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      1. Talieson West is very interesting! Not what I expected at all because it is not very polished, but you can see his development as a designer architect in and outside of the house.

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  3. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    From 1977-1979 my wasband and I lived at a church camp 16 miles north of Grand Rapids, MN. It was a stunningly beautiful piece of property that was about 2000 acres which abutted the Chipewa National Forest. What an opportunity. The place was filled with wildlife: we watched eagles fished, loons dive, and owl watch us.

    And with all that gorgeousness around us, we lived in a 3 bedroom trailer. Which was not beautiful and was full of mice.

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  4. We lived in far southern Indiana in Columbus for a year. The trees were tall and the vegetation lush and the flowers were beautiful. We weren’t there long enough but I think we could have had terrific gardens. It also boasted lots of original architecture. The owner of the major industry (Cummins Engines) had invited world famous architects to design many buildings, from warehouses to churches. There was a Henry Moore statue in front of the public library. It was way too hot and humid for us, though, and I bet the garden pests were of Old Testament proportions.

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  5. The Milky Way is the only universe I have ever lived in.
    I be traveled a bit and always loved the scenery and thought about what it would be LKE to live there if I could find a way to work from there
    The Rocky mountains are the spot that calls out, alps are cool and there are other beautiful areas like the leach lake area I spent some time at but I think the Rockies are the place I’d end up given the choice
    I grew up in a suburban prototype in Bloomington, population 13000
    The river the corn fields the woods were the perfect surroundings for a kid of the 60s. I went from living in my surroundings to sleeping at my house in the 80s making pit stops between kids activities today I have a nice view of the river in a too big house that works good for a return to visit house for the kids to come back to
    I’d be happy almost anywhere today if the details were correct
    The beauty of lanaikea will work just fine for me but if I could find a spot a little closer to contentment that would be good

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  6. If I could claim to have “lived” in my Lake Superior cabin, that would be the loveliest place I’ve lived. For two summers we lived near Wisconsin’s Brule River, although the spot of land where we actually lived was dusty, flat and full of flies. On camping and fishing trips I have lived in the splendor of the BWCAW. Similarly, I have lived for several weeks in the spectacular wilderness of northern Ontario, Manitoba and the Northwest Territories.

    When you come right down to it, the really beautiful places I’ve experienced I visited as a tourist. And maybe that’s the only way it can be. If people like me live in a place, it cannot be as beautiful as a place humans only visit.

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  7. Morning all. I suppose it’s cheating to say I’ve lived in a place if I only spent a week there, in a posh hotel? If so, then I would have to say I’m very fond of my current space… I’ve been working hard the last 15 years to get more shrubs and flowers and am feeling this year that the yard is really coming into it’s own. So much so that I was actually unhappy to go on vacay to St. Louis in July; I didn’t want to miss a peak week or my garden!

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    1. Which hotel? I’ve enjoyed Bangkok, banff, Yellowstone, Hawaii,hong kong and camp sites in the Rockies Washington rainforest Lake Tahoe, glacier Alaska
      The most beautiful places I have ever lived have been on wheels but I do love the view out my living room and bedroom windows.

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  8. l’ve only lived in two homes since adulthood, but the place l’d love to live out my life in would be Kauai. A few years back, l was involved with a man who lives on this pristine island paradise. He had an open invitation for me to come visit. l never took advantage of this because somehow l knew that l’d never want to come home.

    Ever since then, l’m exposed to a dozen images of what l missed on his facebook page so l’m constantly reminded of what l missed.

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      1. Hawaii is a gorgeous place – I’ve been lucky enough to travel there many times, but I’m not sure I could live there year round. As beautiful as the weather is, it doesn’t really change a lot. A beautiful day in January is pretty much like a beautiful day in June or October. That would be hard for me – I love the changing of the seasons.

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  9. My last California place in El Granada was really beautiful – ‘way tall eucalyptus trees across the road, and the beach of Half Moon Bay a few blocks away. hen lived in Brooklyn NY for two years before escaping back to the Midwest. I’ve said for years that the Twin Cities have the best of the east and west coasts – lots of water and parkland, progressive population, great fine arts… It really is beautiful here.

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    1. I like it here but it’s not beautiful
      It’s like a friend that May or may not be attractive. After a while you don’t notice . It the fondness you are attract acted to not the appearance

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  10. The neighborhood where I currently live in Minneapolis is not beautiful. The winters, especially, are very ugly. The snow turns black, the houses all seem to be different shades of beige…ugh. Although, when the snow melts and before it’s green, that might be worst, because you see a winter’s worth of trash in the front yard and along the streets, along with black, melting snow. Makes me shudder to think of it.

    I have lived in some beautiful places. The first place I remember was 8 acres near Lake Elmo. You can see a picture of how it looked about 3 years ago if you look at the top photo in my guest post last week or whenever it was. When we lived there, we had a huge garden, an orchard, and some woods. Not breathtakingly beautiful, but pleasant.

    Next we lived on the north shore of Lake Superior. We kept pretty busy running the resort, and the house was no castle and was closer to the highway than the lake, but across the highway was forest and down the hill was the lake and rocky shore. There was a creek nearby that I spent one entire summer exploring and I spent hours by the lake, not doing much of anything.

    Even when we moved to town, it wasn’t bad – a view of the Lake, and the forest nearby.

    One winter I lived on the north side (opposite the lake side) of Highway 61, but there was a view of the lake out the front window – I remember seeing the sunrise over the Lake with the “steam” coming off the lake on cold mornings. There was a creek nearby, too, which was good to snowshoe along.

    There was also a lovely, small house on the hill, off a dirt road, with a very long driveway, and meadows and woods surrounding it.

    Someday I hope to again live in a beautiful place. My soul shrivels up without natural beauty around me.

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      1. first, near Lutsen (our resort was not Lutsen Resort, but it was east of the town of Lutsen a couple miles) and Jonvick Creek. then town of grand marais. then near Kimball Creek.

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  11. It would be churlish of me to not mention my current home. If an apartment complex can be beautiful, this one is. My erstwife said it is more like a well-,maintained country club than a bunch of apartments. It has attractive buildings, lovely landscaping, a swimming pool and an off-leash dog park. The buildings are clustered spaciously near the top of Mount Scott, with many good overlooks. It is just a collection of apartments, I guess, but a very pretty spot overall.

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  12. I think most of us think of rural locales when we talk about beauty in our surroundings. But there is more than one kind of beauty in the world. A place can become lovely with familiarity and a sense of home, just as a person’s face can grow beautiful with shared history and tenderness.

    My present home is where I have lived the longest and I’ll probably always cherish it the most.

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  13. Well Baboons, you have once again sent me hurtling down paths of memory I have not thought of in lo these many. ….

    As a theatre gypsy, I lived in many lovely, quirky old places that just ooze a certain type of romance. When I lived at the Plaza Hotel in Milwaukee, they still had an Ernestine style switchboard at the front desk.

    But today the place that sprang to mind is the Carolina limestone row house in the middle of a bit of farmland outside of Spring Green, Wisconsin. It was built by an abolitionist physician when he was forced to leave his southern home.

    A quick google tells me the same woman still owns it. I should write to her-she is an amazing and independent spirit.

    Address is easy to remember: The Stone House

    I feel like I have written about this place before.

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  14. Upon reflection, Dale’s question is answerable on three levels. In the realm of “macro abode,” Planet Earth is pretty damn gorgeous on balance if I count Earth as a place I’ve lived. I’ve barely scratched the surface (no pun intended) of beautiful places I’ve seen in the world.

    Referentially speaking, meaning an abode where I have received mail and display on my drivers license, my dwellings have been rather mundane, but I have to say that Owatonna,at the height of a good growing season with deep green corn and beans bursting out of the rolling plains of farmland, especially at sunrise or sunset, is about as peaceful and serene farm country as I can recall.

    The third level of living abodes is temporary residences, including college dorms/apartments, vacation rentals for a week or two, and even one night stands in hotels/motels, I’ve experienced a plethora of beauteous locales.

    At the top of the list of places that come to mind, I’d have to say a cozy cabin at Johnson Canyon Junction in Banff National Park is near the top. We loved it so much we seriously daydreamed about chucking it all in the civilized world and move into a 20×20 rustic cabin somewhere in the Canadian Rockies.

    A cabin we rented at Gunflint Lodge several years ago was cozy, rustic, quiet, and on the edge of the BWCA, which is also about as good as it gets for beautiful in its unique way.

    A different sort of temporary living quarters was a houseboat on the Canal du Midi in the south of France. My wife, father, and stepmother rented it for a week as we motored from east of Toulouse to the Mediterranean. Accommodations were typical houseboat, but in September, when the grapes are nearly ripe and ready to harvest, the farm fields are lush and perfect, and each town has gorgeously preserved centuries-old architecture–churches, public buildings, stone houses, lock keepers cottages overflowing with flowers–accompanied by the clean smell of the country accented by fields of herbs such as lavender and thyme… well, that’s hard to beat too.

    Also up there is the Red Blanket Cabin just outside of Prospect, OR. We stayed a week last summer and it was by far the best VRBO we’ve stayed at. Immaculate, gorgeous wood finish on walls and floors, spacious, quiet, comfortable, gorgeous wood carving decorations (the entire cabin and decorations were handmade by the couple who owns the property. And all at an incredibly reasonable price!

    If anyone is looking for the best romantic/relaxing get away imaginable, just google them or send me a note and I’ll heap glowing praise upon them for your benefit.

    Too many memorable vacation choices, but thanks for allowing me a short stroll down memory lane.

    Chris in Owatonna

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  15. l think Bart’s going to have a tough winter. First of all, the predictions are a winter as bad as last year’s; secondly, we went from two months of monsoon straight into early fall. Barely any real summer at all. l almost felt sorry for the guys with big boats on the lake because we had a “no wake” restriction until late July. This meant that they couldn’t go any faster than 5 MPH. l hear that it took an hour to get from this bay to Wayzata, normally a 10-minute ride.

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