March 24, 2018

Island Park Is Home

riverI just returned from a week in New York City. I enjoyed myself immensely among the culture and the diversity but found significant truth in the statement, “You can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy.”

I’m a country boy. I’m not ashamed of it. In fact, I rejoice in it. I rejoice that within 2 – 3 minutes I can be in a place where I never see another individual until I choose to. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not anti-social. I love spending time with friends and family. But I have to admit I don’t enjoy spending time with 8 million people I’ve never met (many of whom I would never choose to spend time with, given the choice.)

I’m impressed with the buildings that block out the sun. They are engineering marvels. According to one source, there is a building in downtown in New York that casts a seven acre shadow. That’s impressive. But if we’re telling the truth here, what really gets my attention are purple mountain majesties rising out of the fruited plain. I love the rocks and rills, the woods and templed hills . . . For me, those aren’t just words to a song we sang more in years past. They’re part and parcel of who I am — to the very core.

Call me crazy. I like looking up at night and seeing a blanket of stars, not buildings with neon electric signs. I like waking up to the chirping of the birds, not the wail of sirens. I like walking outside and smelling the fresh scent of pine trees, not the stale smell of car exhaust that has yet to escape into the atmosphere where it can bring to pass Al Gore’s wildest nightmares.

Yes, I’m a country boy — true blue, through and through. There’s no way around it and there’s no making excuses about it. I know you may love the city as much as I love the country. I respect that. I hope you’ll continue living there. Of course I hope you’ll come visit us a couple of times a year, but all in all I hope you continue to find joy in the city. When you consider all the things you do for fun and recreation in the city, you have to come to the conclusion there’s nothing like that for you here. Let’s make a deal. I’ll visit you in the city on occasion and you come here whenever you want. We’ll both have what we want and we can continue to live separate lives together. What do you think?


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