A city never feels more like home than the days you prepare to leave it. Suddenly, you're awake to the scenery, the comforts, the friendships. A romance blossoms with the place you once took for granted.
Nostalgia doesn’t blind me. Plenty of indictments stand against Montgomery.
We're not as big as Birmingham nor as quaint as nearby small towns.
Summer heat hangs sticky and snow lovers moan each warm winter.
Our public school system flounders and my single friends complain there's no one to date.
But the sky here is wide and blue. I pass cow pastures on my two mile drive to the grocery or to Ann Taylor. Spanish moss hangs from trees in the distance out my back window. The picturesque, winding paths of Shakespeare Park almost convince me to lace my running shoes and join them. Almost. :)
|Shakespeare Park, via|
Some say Montgomery is cliquish. I wouldn't know; we enjoy friendships open and inviting.
Some say Montgomery is racist. Our transracial family has felt accepted. Yes, our town’s name is inscribed throughout Civil Rights history. Yes, there are massive, massive improvements yet to be made. But my daughter's life has been celebrated and prayed for here.
Some say Montgomery’s people are pompous, dressing children in fashions more costly than adult clothes. I can't tell you. My girls dress the part each Sunday, draped in lace and smocked pastel, but I didn't buy a thing. Our closets are stuffed with the generous hand-me-downs of those others (wrongly) call snobs.
Some say Montgomery is boring. We haven’t had time to find out. Our schedule is packed with parties, showers, church events. If it weren’t, we may have had more time to attend concerts, plays, zoo events, and minor league baseball games on the river.
Life lessons are often learned through endings. Hindsight is 20-20, they say. At the end of our time in Montgomery, I learn a sweet lesson to take to our home-to-be in Mobile:
Waste no time on discontent.
Embrace where you live.
Love it for whatever it is.
Love the people, however they are.
See the potential.
Find the good.
I don't suggest Christians forget we're are foreignors on earth and never truly "home" until we reach heaven. I suggest we imitate the love with which God gave Himself to this imperfect planet... imitate the affection with which Jesus lamented over Jerusalem.
There’s no other place exactly like the peice of globe your feet are now touching. Appreciate and cultivate the habitat that, for the moment, is uniquely yours.
If home is where the heart is, then give your heart to wherever you are, and quickly.
Otherwise, you’re simply wandering.