Seeking solitude or simply stepping back from the hectic pace of one's life isn't uncommon. In fact, I suspect quite common as the world shifts and our lives seek greater balance in what some interpret as turbulent times.
As some of you know from previous posts I spent the better part of a decade in the Ithaca, New York area before heading south. An era before recessional trends and gray hair. In this rally into my golden age I find I am a constant interloper of the Finger Lakes. I give myself permission constantly to hold this region tight while also keeping my feet firmly planted in the sands along the coast of South Carolina. As if placing myself in the lush natural surroundings means I'm cheating on the wide swing tides of the Lowcountry.
It's the places I find myself occupying during these retreats that make it sweet...
The City of Ithaca has successfully completed a reinterpretation (repair) of its Commons where a young mayor (Svante Myrick) brings his youthful enthusiasm to the concrete and civic endeavors found in his backyard. From Hip Hop concerts to public coffee talks with the local police chief to cutting the ribbon on another new entrepreneur's business. What one individual does makes others take notice. Check out the mayor's parking space at City Hall, here.
An uncommon space and constantly evolving is Mimi's Attic. One need not be in the market for their wares, simply checking out the staff's talent to recreate living spaces on the shop floor every day is entertainment enough on any given day. In my mind, no one in the interiors market has anything on the sharp marketing and design skills of this team.
Then there is the Meeting House at Boiceville Cottages, a common lodge where members of the community can gather either serendipitously or in planned celebration. I've met some remarkable people simply by spending a few hours a week in this community space. Some weeks it's a graduate student writing a dissertation, others a book club discussing their latest read, or a yoga class bringing everyone to center and sometimes it's simply young people parking their bicycles on the curb to grab a quick cartoon.
Spending time with James Rada in the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College in planning to bring students to South Carolina in the days leading up to the primary in February 2016 gives me the chance to engage in my home state even when away. James accompanied students to Washington DC in 2013 as they covered the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for NBC and PBS Newshour. In March 2015, he joined Ithaca College students as they travelled to Alabama to cover the 50th Anniversary of Selma for NBC News. They will come to South Carolina in 2016 to shed light on the new and old south during a key democratic process. I'm proud of my alma mater for interpreting the experiential nature of its curriculum as key to its students success and lucky enough to have the time to share in the journey.
Discovering my place in this world simply by being where I am.