Jackson Newspapers - Ripley, WV
A Love Letter to my Hometown
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By Katie Speece
Aug. 11, 2014 6:45 p.m.

ravenswood love

I have collected things from you, moments that have changed my life, experiences that have made me better, times that have broken my heart and beautiful moments that have made it whole again. You gave me a beginning, a relationship built on comfort. It was nice these past few years with you, unchanging and constant. I appreciated you, and I love you, but as I turned to go, you did not beg me to stay. Maybe that is just what I wanted, a reason to stay where you are. Something, anything, to tell me that I had not wasted my time with you, but I know that what you want is seldom what you get, so I left. Almost a year later, I still miss you. I think of you and I remember how you were everything that was familiar to me, my sweet hometown.

††††††††††† As I look back now, I recognize the things I love you for now are the things that I hated you for then. Small and stagnant, you were always the same, sitting motionless, patiently waiting to recapture the glory of your past. Letting people in and watching them leave became as familiar to you as the Sunday morning traffic and the quiet streets in the middle of the night. You were a place to settle down, a place to let your kids grow up, a place to pass through.† You captured my attention with your watchful eye, your careful gaze. I walked your streets just before sunset breathing in your familiar air. I drove around your streets aimlessly, memorizing every curve. I appreciated your view of the Ohio River every evening. I loved you and I defended you, but I also left you.

††† I left you then, and it is only now that I come back that I realized what I missed about you. I missed those cool autumn nights that you came alive on Flinn Field. I missed the familiarity of your people, and your places. I missed these days of monotony that I spent wandering around your streets. Leaving taught me to treasure you, to appreciate you, and to always come home to you.††

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