One of my co-workers is from Missouri. Just ask him. He will tell you ALL about it. He’ll tell you about the best fishing holes and his memories of college at Mizzou. He will tell you about the best BBQ places, his high school sweatheart (now wife), his buddies, and his two children. Just ask him. He loves that place and sings its praises at any given chance.
This bothers me. You see, I’m from Missouri, too. In fact, I grew up less than two hours away from him and I feel none of his kinship to the state. Yes, I love the farm where I grew up. I can imagine riding the 4-wheeler and time spent at the lake behind our house. I can still close my eyes and take you down every dirt road without getting lost. But I feel no pull to return, even though I’ll go back in a week and have great laughs with two friends from high school, and middle school, and elementary school.
This bothers me. Why? Because I’ve lived in Georgia for five years and I’m still pining for Los Angeles. At least, I was. But Georgia is growing on me. It started growing on me when I joined CDF in August 2012. But I’m not sure why.
This bothers me. It bothers me because I don’t know what shifted, but I think the main thing I’ve learned is that, for me, it takes work to get connected. It takes time and effort to go meet people, to listen to them and share stories. Through my work at CDF, I’m not only connecting to Clarkston, but I feel more connected to place where I live and I see great value in the time I put in. But being connected is a process and like a community, it is ever changing. And it is work that is well worth the reward.