This town is great. I love the old houses, the architecture, the history. Historically speaking, that goes without saying, because I love history everywhere, so much I’m willing to fight for it– and write for it. I love the library, the beautiful views surrounded by mountains, the birds chirping, and the smell of spring in the air. Did I mention I love the library? I love my house too, even though when the light is right and you’re walking up the steps to the second floor, you can see through the wall clear to the other side.
I love this place. But I gotta be honest. I miss Florida. I miss the place where I was born (in another life, that is) and I miss the Everglades, Lake Okeechobee, and looking up to see the cypress trees reaching for the blue sky. I miss opening the window and looking up, listening as the trumpeting sandhill cranes soar overhead. I miss the alligators, jumping the guardrail and running through the woods to say hello to them. I miss the Ibis, the turtles, the egrets, and the wood storks. I miss Fort Center, Fisheating Creek, Lake Worth, and North Palm Beach. I miss (oddly) being screamed at by crazy people on Australian Boulevard. Why? Because it makes one heck of a good story, that’s why. I miss the North Palm Beach Library, that song they sing during story time that gets stuck in my head (“Hello everybody, how do you do?”), and the history office. I miss the cracks in the sidewalk near Anchorage Park, and the way my bicycle bounced over them as I ducked beneath tree branches. I love where I am now. But I gotta be honest. I miss Florida.
Maybe you don’t understand, and maybe you do. But my adoration of that great state isn’t built on the foundation of weather. Sure, the weather is great, but there’s more to it than that. America doesn’t have another Florida; there’s only one. A subtropical paradise that’s been abused and overused, overdeveloped and under-appreciated. There’s only one Everglades, and there’s so little of it left. Millions of dollars have been put into restoring it, but I won’t go into the sordid politics behind it; you can read about it if you choose. Florida needs to be preserved and protected, and I don’t feel there are enough people who care about it. Frankly, not enough people care about the natural world in general, and that is evidenced by the litter we see on the streets every day, by the pesticides people spray just to keep weeds off their lawns.
I could go on and on.
The fact is, I’m in love with Florida, and that’s not going to change– no matter where I live. I will continue to write, fight, and spread the word about Florida’s history and how important it is to preserve her environment, her beauty.
See you in the fall, Palm Beach County.