It was late in my life when I realized I was looking for that special place to live. I wondered what it would be like. Never thought it could actually be a place that would make me feel “at home” until I found it.
A few years ago, someone I knew only briefly and once when he hugged me…a long warm, holding me in his arms hug. There was something I never felt before, at home in his arms. Didn’t know then it was a hint of something to come…no not him, but something more.
I lived in Michigan, Florida, Ireland, Georgia, California, and back to Georgia. It’s a long story. Just know that I have never felt at home in either place.
A few years ago I decided to check out a city two hours from where I currently live as a possible place to get away now and then. The first day I went there to its downtown area, with a river running through it under the Main Street bridge, the beautiful river walk, a waterfall, and a park. The downtown has wonderful art studios and galleries, shops and restaurants. I had a great day there, and was amazed at how friendly the people were.
I knew that it was a good place to make get away day trips.
With each trip I took lots of photographs and told friends here in Georgia about my experiences…because they asked and wanted details. They asked if I would take them on one of my day trips.
I also heard the place had art festivals downtown, and decided to have a weekend trip about 3 months after I first started going there. I invited a friend to join me, as she had gone with me on a day trip and really liked it.
Each person I took on a day trip loved the place, and also experienced the same friendliness of the people.
Such a great place to have a break from routine, to get away, and an easy two hour drive. So, fairly frequently I would take a day trip, and weekend stays for each of the three special festivals of the year. As time went on I began to sense a peace wash over me as I got nearer. While there I would feel energized, motivated, inspired and a sense of endless possibilities for me. Every single time there someone would always stop start a conversation with me. Coffee from Starbucks and sitting at the café tables outside on Main Street near the bridge always made opportunities for more conversations with others. The next significant change in me was that each time I had to leave there and return here I would feel yukky (yes this is the only way I can describe that feeling) inside.
The biggest event was the day I was there, standing on the Main Street bridge looking over at the river when I realized this place was HOME.
I had been reading about this city and different things going on, I had started making friends, and then got involved in the TEDx events where I connected with a lot more people.
I have known for a long time now that it is truly where I belong. The reason Greenville, SC feels like HOME to me is that not only have I embraced the city and the people, but the people and the city have embraced me.
One of these days I will live in that special place for me; that I will call HOME for the rest of my life. Thank you, Greenville and all of your people who have embraced me and continue encouraging me to get there.
My Greenville…a few favorite photos taken by me at different times.
A Favorite View of the Reedy River and Falls (photo by Ann Marquette)
Favorite Resting Spot by the Reedy River (photo by Ann Marquette)
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