On Roofs

Written by Mike Parish, Illustrated by Dan Tarnowski
On Roofs

A Roof With A View

For today’s installment I’m actually on a roof. I thought it’d be nice for the title’s meaning to be twofold: a post “On Roofs” and On Lives coming to you literally from a roof. So here I am.

Though the sky is a bit cloudy, the view is excellent. This is one of the best functions of a roof, especially a roof in a city; many provide 360-degree views of an area one usually patrols on the streets. Cities are truly a crowning human achievement and quite a wonder. And, oh, there are so many roofs to view them from!

A Roof Like This

This roof is great because it is flat. One can walk uninhibited without fear of falling. Neighbors grow plants and there are more and more gardens popping up on roofs in the distance.

Roofs are surely going to play a huge role in city life in the near future; like yards in the suburbs, these elevated “yards” could be home to many vegetables and other plants.

People just need to take the initiative and start growing. As the demand for fresher, local produce increases, many more families will likely experiment with roof gardening, as evident from all the shiny greenery on neighboring roofs this morning.

Living Roofs

There are also other developments in the mix. Roofs themselves can be made out of plants; these are called living roofs or green roofs. The idea is to have a living structure over one’s head that gains all of its needs and nutrients from the environment. It filters the rain when it rains and absorbs heat from the sunlight.

Despite conventional, inanimate building materials, living roofs can keep a home or building much cooler because the sun is not baking the rock or steel at the structure’s top; the ecosystem living there absorbs it. Living roofs are beautiful. Bugs and birds can find a home. All in all, they are pretty wild.

Roof Party

Despite all the conventional and non-conventional uses of roofs these days, my favorite is the roof party. Right now, I am sidling the urge to call up some friends and get them on this roof. Roofs are perfect party places because of the atmosphere and scenery. They’re way more fun than sitting inside an apartment or bar somewhere, especially at night. The evening air whips over the tops of the buildings and every light twinkles, the sound of the city humming with laughter.

(I’ve met some great people on roofs, and this post is dedicated to them.)

Time To Get Down

Though I’d like to, I can’t stay on this roof forever. It’s getting hotter as the morning advances, and though I’m not sure what they are yet, I’ve got other things to do today. But before I go inside to type this up, roofs have really got me thinking.

Is there a human component to roofs? Is there something more to them than basic shelter, than keeping us dry and protected from the elements? Other animals strive to have a home and a roof over their heads and I don’t think we’re much different from them. In the morning, when the bear emerges from his den, I’m sure he too finds a high point and surveys the land around him, wondering where he’ll go today and what the day will bring.

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