Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Seven Wonders of Centre County

Originally Posted on the Common Threads Blog
Centre Daily Times, Oct 10, 2007

I like this idea of the CDT poll to find the Seven Wonders of Centre County.

An interesting exercise, to look at the place we call home, from a fresh and positive perspective. A home, which is so familiar to us, that we may take it for granted. And may not appreciate what it has to offer, amidst a search for novel and exciting things.

I remember a moment from a long time ago, when my husband and I had spent a week in San Francisco - enjoying time with family and friends in San Francisco and Yosemite, and the freedom from our daily grind.

How could our life in State College, with its chores and routines, ever compete with that experience?

But the morning after we got back, a beautiful, peaceful scene of the sun rising above corn fields, with mountains in the distance greeted us.

If we had been visitors in San Francisco, we would have stopped to click some photographs, and savored and enjoyed the moment. But on our way to work, as part of our daily routine, it simply became the backdrop for our life.

When guests visit us in State College, my daughter asks to take them to the Creamery and the Nittany Lion statue, to walk around campus, and to spend some time in front of Old Main – all part of her Seven Wonders. We go to Penn’s Cave, or the Arts Fest – and any other places or experiences that catch the visitors’ fancy. Some like to hike, others prefer a visit to the library, or a stroll downtown.

A couple of years ago, my daughter came up with the idea that we should spend a day in State College, pretending to be visitors. We had a great time that Saturday – it felt like we had discovered a magical, peaceful town, which we had the free time to explore. We visited all her Seven Wonders and more… and enjoyed every minute.

I cherish that day - it reminds me of the beauty in our daily lives and landscapes, if we have the time and attitude to appreciate it.

A sentiment verbalized well by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, when he wrote in a poem – that he had travelled all around the world, spending time and money in search of beauty. And finally realized that all the time that he had been wandering the earth, he had missed seeing the splendor that lay just outside his house – the dewdrop glistening on a blade of grass.

Perhaps the seven wonders contest will help us seek and admire our dewdrops and our blades of grass.

No comments: