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I'm the Local Gal in Richmond, Indiana, exploring my hometown and heart. I write about all thing local, sometimes global. It's a small world after all.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Blooming in Richmond

"Bloom where you are planted." 
St. Francis de Sales, Bishop of Geneva (1567-1622)

The author of Just Pieces, quibbled with the phrase "bloom where you are planted". I too am a quibbler. I am not native to Richmond. I was not born here. It might be better to say "Bloom where you are transplanted" or "Bloom where you consciously choose to bloom", but who am I to argue with saints?

As a child, I never bothered to know the street names or the use of buildings. I didn't know the beautiful upright piano I grew up playing with was made here by the Starr company. I didn't know much really. I only knew that this city seemed small, like myself. It is my most familiar landscape. My brother and I ate clover leafs as babies in our front yard. We splashed in the creeks. All of my siblings have gone to school here, worked here, played here. My children were all born here. I've fallen in and out and in love again here.

For the greater parts of my life, this has been and is my setting. I spent most of my youth unaware, unappreciative of my surroundings. I'm remedying that and looking at my hometown with a renewed lens. The more I explore this setting, the less I feel like I am floating or merely drifting blindly in a current of life, and more and more I own a sense of place.

I am looking at Richmond, Indiana from different angles: visiting neighborhoods and turning down streets I never knew existed. I find myself lingering over new perspectives, underneath bridges, atop tall structures and meandering along outdoor trails, & finding beauty, whether it is as obvious as a rose in the Richmond Rose Garden or an unexpectedly cultivated corner in what I perceived to be a forgotten alley.

A Garden behind the E Street Pub

I am even learning the names and histories of the wild things thriving in my backyard. You may not realize some weeds are native, useful & very interesting... The Compass Plant was used by Native Americans to treat asthma. The dried sap was chewed by natives and pioneers like a gum. The leaves often point North and South allowing travelers to orient themselves.

Compass Plant

It is another summer in Richmond, and the familiar songs of cicadas ringing in the thick air resounds. The same clovers are spreading like green and white and yellow carpets. Honeybees are visiting them, & I hear my own voice calling to the children & sounding just like my mother's "Watch your feet".

Richmond, Indiana, A Place for Everyone

Dear Richmond, my children are learning your street's names. We are blooming.

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