Having lived for seven eventful, fun-filled, wonderful years in California, I have always figured that, where coasts are concerned, West is best and East is least. I have slowly been changing my mind. Well, adjusting it.
I still love the west coast. California is peerless. But the East offers so much in terms of history (which I love) and beauty (of which I am a great admirer.) I am determined to explore this coast as much as time and opportunity allow (which may be plenty and could be little to none.)
Right now, I am in Georgia, not far from a place called Lost Mountain, which seems neither to be lost nor a mountain, but is gorgeous, nonetheless. The Pines and Oaks and whatever other trees these happen to be are magnificent. The ones that have recently fallen onto the roofs of houses and cars may be somewhat less so, but even they know how to throw their weight around.
A couple of years ago, Donya and I spent a few days in Savannah. We were impressed with the city’s sense of history. They cling tenaciously to their rich heritage, marking it with monuments, statues, and perfectly spaced squares for the enjoyment of townsman and tourist alike.
Conversely, Atlanta is modern, sleek, with an eye toward tomorrow. It reminds me of Dallas because of its healthy commerce and rapid growth in recent years. Still, there are museums, curio shops, and national parks to remind one of the darkest days in the region’s history: the Civil War.
The city that burned has that war burned into consciousness. There is a residue of discomfort that seems to grapple with the juxtaposed sentiments associated with happiness that this is still the UNITED States and the bitter sadness that the bloodbath ended with the Sons of the South as losers of the conflict.
I am a product of the wild and woolly West. I have lived my life and formed my opinions, beliefs, and habits west of the Mississippi. But the Deep South portion of the East is growing on me.
I can hardly wait to wander north.
[For your listening pleasure, I am including a video of East (Ray Charles) meets West (Willy Nelson) singing, “Georgia on my Mind.]