I love my town.
I loved it when I grew up here.
I loved it when I moved away.
When I went to college, I came back after a year, back home.
I moved to Nashua, then practically Boston chasing a better job and even then… I got married at home. And despite having a two-hour commute each way on a good day… we moved back home. Our people are here. Our hearts are here. Home is where the heart is, whether that is a place, or people.
There are some things about my town that change, and other things that are eternal. The forested highways, the hidden paths in the woods, the white gazebo in the town square and the old mill buildings… those are forever. Retail blocks rise up, but the rainbows and sunsets remain the same. Even Hollywood has passed through, leaving only a mural on the wall for us to remember it by.
The businesses change, restaurants are overhauled and my favorite burrito joint now sells organic, grass-fed burgers. The stores move, or go out of business, or go online exclusive, but the Main Street strip still screams local, and it’s all worthwhile. The shows and lectures at the Colonial change year by year, but the old marquee still shines bright.
We have our history, tarnished by the passer-throughs but glowing in our own memories. You can take our festivals away, but the shadow of them still hovers over our town. When the college campus can’t push any further into town limits, entrepreneurs push into the vacant lots and build five-story brick buildings for college housing – but you can’t take our spirit away from us. Corporate retailers move out, but small businesses blossom. You can’t take our pride because as much as I love the land and the memories, the pride isn’t in those things –
Our spirit is in each other – the townies who are happy to chat about the weather and sit down across a diner. The lovers and the families and the fathers and the daughters and the high school friends and old coworkers. There are those that run away from this place, jilted by the people or cramped in its rustic “small town” visage, but not me.
I love it here. I love the people, and I love the places, and I love my town.
“Local” – Daily Post Photo Prompt