Looking in the Mirror
I had the opportunity yesterday to spend about six hours showing a couple of visitors around Donalsonville and Seminole County. Both are world travelers and much more knowledgeable about life in major metropolitan areas versus the small rural area that I call home.
I can pretty much do the city tour with my eyes closed. The hospital. Downtown. The Courthouse. LMC, APGG and Cloverleaf. Completed and planned projects. I was struck by how complimentary they were, as if they were seeing small town America for the first time.
It has been a while since I have given a tour of the Lake Seminole area. It was a perfect day to be outside, especially after all the rain we have had in the past two weeks.
One of our first stops was at Seminole State Park. We pulled up at one of the cabins and walked around a bit. I have been going to that park for decades, but watching people see it for the first time made me take a second look. The water was shimmering. Geese were flying. The ideal temperature; not too hot and not too cold. Perfect.
They were right. It was stunningly beautiful and the rest of the afternoon I looked at the sites as if I was also seeing them for the first time.
Ray’s Lake was equally peaceful. In fact the people there were not fishing. They were just relaxing outside on a gorgeous Spring day after working in an office.
One by one I showed the impressed guests the checklist of places to see at Lake Seminole. People were mowing their lawns and cleaning up after the recent storms. It made me want to go home and get on a lawn mower.
Sealy’s Point Park offered a different view for my guests, as did a stop at Spring Creek Park. Same lake, but they all have a totally different feel depending on where you are located.
By the end of the day, I had touched on most of Seminole County and was reminded anew of why I live here. It was only reinforced by the feeling that my guests had seen a part of the world they liked too.
In the next week Mary Lou and I will travel to China. The largest city we will visit is Shanghai, with just over 23 million residents. I don’t know if there are that many fish in all of Lake Seminole. I am sure that I will look at the world a bit differently after this visit. That is the exciting part of visiting parts of the world where you have never been.
All of us occasionally look in the mirror and see ourselves a bit differently than the day before. I am glad I had that chance to look at my community anew before traveling halfway around the world. It will be a mental picture that I will keep tucked away, reminding me that the path always leads back home.
Dan Ponder can be reached at email@example.com