Friday, April 28, 2006

Small Town Surprise

Like John Mellencamp sang in the song “Small Town”, “I was born in a small town” and I was raised in a small town. There are many who say they would hate living in a place like where I grew up. I can understand that, I used to hate it, too. But residing in a small town offers some incredible sublime blessings.

A few days ago, I returned to the family homestead after my night run. I really don’t enjoy running, but I’ve starting running about four times a week as a way to try to get back in shape and loose a few pounds. Actually, I really don’t run—I “fat man jog.” Anyway, the sky was completely clear and you could see stars and constellations from the backyard. I sat down on the steps of the patio. I remained still and listened. I heard dogs barking in yards half-a-mile away. I heard the different television programs people were watching a few blocks down the street. Just a block over, people were having some sort of dance party; the radio was turned up and I caught the glimpse of bodies rocking to the music. I heard sounds of rustling grass of an animal running through a plot of forested land nearby and I felt completely at ease as the wind rustled through the trees. I felt totally at peace. It was a moment of serene rest. I felt connected to all those around me. It was a small town surprise; something I needed but did not expect to receive.

Many people think that small towns are a total joke and that everyone who lives in one is either a hick or a redneck (there is a difference). There is some truth to that, but small towns aren’t a total joke and even though everyone who lives in one might be a hick or a redneck, some of them are quite classy and intelligent hicks. Small towns have been deconstructed and disrespected by the post-modern culture that surrounds us and threatens everyday to invade our lives. People look at the way Normal Rockwell and Frank Capra viewed the heart of America and say, “That’s nice. But that was a different time and in many ways a different place.” That’s not true. Places from a Rockwell painting or a Capra film are still around. In many instances they are thriving. Should you ever visit one, don’t take it for granted because small towns are full of surprises.

No comments: