Thursday, July 19, 2007

106: where we are

we are trying to embrace the "if you can't be with the one you want, love the one you're with" attitude in regards to place. jason and i both grew up in the area so we have very mixed feelings about florida. my little island hometown is being over run with condos, his parents' neighborhood is awash in suburban sprawl. strip malls replace stands of pine trees and saw palmettos for the simple reason that people here obviously need the combination of grocery/sub shop/chinese take-out/nail shops every quarter of a mile down the road. the florida that the developers are growing is utterly boring. what could be less imaginative than taking a perfectly good piece of land and plowing it down for commerce and parking lots. and in florida, hot, humid florida, flat parking lots are just stupid. you can hear the metal of the cars bending under the sun. what a waste.

but then sometimes, i get a reminder of how beautiful florida still is. like when i looked out my window to see this statuesque great white egret hunting for lizards and gekkos in the bushes. sebastian hung out on the balcony quietly watching the bird's slow movements. he's learning how to be still around animals now, how to enjoy without scaring anything away with his enthusiasm.

i really hope that we'll have a car when autumn comes so we can go camping. the kids won't be ready for the cold springs just yet but by fall nico should be big enough for the backpack and we should be able to do some weekend hiking and exploring. i want them to really understand what a unique place they were both born in so that they can share some of the magical memories of a place that will soon be obsolete. unless of course the definitions of "development" and "progress" used in florida change soon to reflect a more sane and sustainable version.

we can always hope.

1 comment:

amisha said...

i am a very new floridian but i empathize so much with this frustration with the strip mall mentality... and yet one can still find those bits of unspoiled natural beauty.
i just read a great book about florida and disney by carl hiassen... the name is escaping me but it is a small, really readable book (read it on the plane from atlanta to gainesville! :) ) all about the disneyfication of florida and the economic incentives for all of this sprawl.