I've always enjoyed the great outdoors, but growing up in the city, my experience feeling free and unfettered was in the summer when I spent so much time at Nags Head. Talking about unfettered, in all direction but to the west was water, a wide expanse just showing me how minuscule each of us is on earth. But to the west was the hustle and bustle of a beach community, one that still had wide expanses abounding. Today, however, it is just a city on the ocean with too much traffic, noise and crime. But that is my impression from my memories of years gone by, but it still is beautiful right on the beach.
Even out here in the piney woods, the impact of man is trying to push a massive developmental agenda on us. And even though we purposely bought in an area heavy with swamps and lacking in much in the way of services, the effort to change our way of life is heavy. But I guess my biggest advantage is age, for hopefully I will maintain the close touch to nature for my lifetime. I do worry, however, about the impact that could befall my wife later and that is one of the reasons I pledge to do what I can to maintain a reasonable balance. She loves it here, so I will continue to speak out against massive sprawl in land that is more often than not waterlogged.
But why else is it so important to maintain? Well, it's hard to understand unless you've seen an eagle soaring above while training a young eaglet to fly and hunt. And then there's the beautiful rural sunrise and sunset above the piney woods. Maybe it's the deer and wild turkeys grazing in the meadow, feeling safe as they now know I don't hunt. Or just spending time like Sunday with those two big hunks of man's best friend, knowing that their job is to guard all who are part our family here, human or otherwise. There's much more I could list, but hopefully you get the drift. It's about peace in a natural setting that serves God's purpose for a place in a way that should never be disturbed.
We saw very clearly just a few months ago when Hurricane Irma roared through what happens in low lying areas, but those of us who live here knew about it and dealt with it. But if man in all of his supposed wisdom decides to turn this place into a City in the Swamp, it will create a disaster. Irma shut our roadways to and from Gainesville for several days; the main state highway route between Gainesville and points south was impassable for many weeks and still isn't fully operational. How do you think that would be if the area added another city? When development comes tinkering with the natural order of things it never works out well. Man never defeats God, but he's arrogant enough to think he can.
Right now, however, things have turned normal again after the waters receded, the spoiled groceries were replaced, and the damage repaired. So, we here in our little peace of heaven will continue to enjoy the sounds, the sights and the ambiance of our place in rural America while we can. And we'll fight massive developments while we continue to be thankful for what we still have today.