The Circle of Life

Flint Hill Church, from Losing Georgia
In a weird way, life has a way of coming full circle. As a child, my family would trek from Jonesboro to Flint Hill Church in Douglas County for the family reunion of my grandparent’s siblings and distant relations. Being young, I had no idea of where we were – only that there long tables covered with fluttering tablecloths, groaning with food. I remember playing hide and seek in the cemetery with my cousins, what seemed like mobs of white-haired little old ladies and being shooed away from giant platters of fried chicken.

Now I live in the very same county I used to unknowingly visit as a child. Fourteen years ago, we moved here for the affordable housing, good schools, a reasonable commute and cows. Yes, you heard me. Cows. Where else could you see cows on your way to work? Rolling pastures, woods for miles, little cafes, two lane roads – the quiet ruralness of it all was comforting. I only wished it had lasted a little longer.

Losing Georgia noted the other day

“Douglas County has less greenspace per acre than metro Atlanta as a whole.” (Douglas Neighbor Newspaper cited)

While most studies are usually done with a hidden agenda, all you have to do is drive around this little county to see that this one hits close to home. Any space bigger than a sandbox is being dug up / paved over / built upon. Doesn’t matter there is an entirely empty shopping center down the street – let’s build another!

Lately, along with the spate of bad manners (and my readers know my opinions on manners – I’ve ranted enough about it here here, and here for starters) shown by everyone from the media to the clerk at the grocery store, there’s been a good deal of talk around the county – basically “What Happened?”. One day, we’re the little forgotten neighbor to the West, the next we’re just as over-developed and crime-ridden as the rest of Atlanta. So many factors go into making a community, for better or worse. How do city fathers navigate the tangled web of growth without ruining what attracts people to their town in the first place? When do you cross the line between building infrastructure to support residents and schools to the greed of development for the sake of expanding the tax base?

Greed, personified by The Ol’ Grinch himself, used to be a sin. Along with lying, cheating, stealing, killing… you get my drift. Nowadays, everything is acceptable. But think for a minute (just a short, little minute), of the story of The Grinch. Remember his surprise when – after he’d stolen all the toys from Whoville, the honkers and sqonkers and the Roast Beast – he heard the Who’s singing on Christmas morning? That he knew that Christmas (and therefore, ahem life) wasn’t about greed or avarice or envy? Remember, his heart grew three sizes that day. What a lesson….

I’m still waiting for the Grinch’s heart to grow here in DC.

(Cross-posted at Losing Georgia)

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