The second day I was home in Florida my parents and I drove up to see Marjorie's haven at Cross Creek. It was more incredible than words can explain. Reading her novel, Cross Creek, I felt such a connection to Marjorie. She was a worker and not a player, she was hard headed, she was wise, she was driven and she loved her adopted home state. She is still an inspiration. She made me miss my homeland like never before. Something passed over me and opened my eyes up to see what I was missing. When I left home 7 years ago, I don't think I had one nice thing to say about Florida, but as soon as I was away and people started to assume that I grew up on a beach in a condo, I remembered what was so wonderful about my native Florida. No, I didn't grow up in a giant development on a beach or in a condo. I grew up in the middle of lush Florida. Not so far from the west coast waters. I grew up somewhere between big city, Tampa and big country, Plant City. I grew up canoeing down rivers and playing in the woods. Sneaking past strawberry fields and running through pastures. It is true that slowly Florida is becoming one big development, and I think watching things change before my eyes helped me to dislike home back when I left. Well now I realize to stop the sprawl from getting any closer to the countryside that still exists in Florida, it's going to take some real love. Some appreciation and some Florida state pride! Thanks to Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings I remember how wonderful a place Florida can be. I can see why my ancestors decided it was the place to go so many generations back. We are the Sunshine State. We have more than beaches (though we do have the best beaches). And we are a beautiful natural state when you look deeper than our overpopulated coastline!
You may be wondering why I said "we" as though I am a part of FL, and I live in Brooklyn, Ny. But as of two weeks ago, I have decided to return to my sunland! I will be heading back down south sometime this Fall. I just decided while I was home that I miss my family too much, and with times being tough- I need them and I like to think that they need me too. So many things have changed since I left and I can't bare to miss anymore. Ny, I hope you understand. My decision was a tough one, but I feel it in my heart and it's the right one. I am so happy I have been here to live and explore for the past year (and for the next few months), but it's time and I know you will always be here when I need you again.