The Outsider's Perspective
I'm sitting at my kitchen table, sipping my morning coffee and thinking about the idea of home, when it suddenly dawns on me how many people go out of their way to visit my hometown and experience life in a lake town. I remember being a teenager and constantly joking with my friends about why people would possibly want to visit this awful town. This was the kind of place that kids like me grew up dreaming to escape from, never to return until retirement. But now that I'm living here as an adult (sort of), I can begin to understand why people love this place so much.
I really do live in one of the most gorgeous places on earth and no matter where the world takes me, I'm always going to have a softness for this place. When I moved back home after three years of living in the New York metro area, I fell in love. I saw my homeland with new eyes. I could finally see the beauty of the place I spent my childhood dying to leave.
Recently, I spent a weekend masquerading as an outsider while I spent time with my family in their rented lake home. I hoped to gain some sort of understanding of the way lake people live and see my town, but ended up falling short. I could only think about how nice it must be to have the privilege of living this way for a week, a month, or even a summer every year.
However, now that I think about it, I don't want the outsider perspective of my home because it's so limited. Outsiders don't get to see the transformation of this town from summer to winter to summer again. They don't have the understanding of small town culture in the way that those of us who live here do. They don't get to experience when the worst of winter hits and this place is at its quietest.
They only see summer.