Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Barnard Reflection for 2011

I can’t say this is the end of my first year in Barnard, but it is the first time I can say that I am ending the year as a resident of Barnard.  I grew up in a small town so I like to say that it was easy to adjust to life in a small town, but in truth, it has been difficult because between Berryton and Barnard, there was Osage City, Emporia, Los Angeles, Strong City and Wichita.  Each of these cities or towns has their own personality and something that makes them an important part of my life.

Barnard is a microcosm of all of these places.  I know some jaws just dropped at that statement so I will explain.  Each of the cities and places I listed above has many facets, both good and bad.  When I make a comparison between them all, there are some commonalities.

Barnard has great people and well, some down right awful people…just like any other town.  The vast majority of my personal experiences here have been extremely positive and there are people here that I’ve come to treasure.  Of course, there are a few that have caused me to memorize the Serenity Prayer.

Politics happen.  We have our leaders, our dreamers, our bullies, and our sheep.  We have nobleness and crookedness.  We have those that work for the betterment of the community and those that service a personal agenda.  Sounds familiar, right?  That is the way it is everywhere.

Scandal. Yes, we have it.  Much of it is very interesting.  None of it will be discussed here.  But you see…it is everywhere.

Diversity…yes, diversity.  Barnard really does have diversity.  There is religious tolerance and there is cooperation between denominations.  There is an acceptance of different people.  Could there be more?  Yes, but I am surprised at how much there really is.  We do have rather limited diversity in the racial and ethnic areas. However, the vast majority of the population here is very welcoming.

Music plays a vital role in our community from church music to entertainment.  The Von Watson Family Singers (thank you Vicki for coining that name), Kenny Wallace, the Coovers, and other countless musically talented people make our community that much brighter.  It may not have a Tower Records, but music is really prominent.

Family is powerful here.  Not always in the traditional ways but powerful just the same.  That is actually probably the biggest reason I live here.  I miss having shopping centers, movie theaters, and restaurants within minutes of my home, but there is something about walking into a family member’s house and having my nephews jump into my arms.  Last night, there was a family dinner and I looked around the table and thought how nice it was to sit down to a full table for dinner.

At this point, if I could click my heels together and say “there’s no place like home,” I don’t know if Barnard would be where I would land.  I’m still adjusting.  However, I do believe that I will never live in any other town and that there is much happiness in store for me here in Barnard. And someday…sooner or later…when I click my heels three times and say that familiar phrase…Barnard will be the place I return to.

May Barnard and all those who care about it, have a Happy New Year full of love, laughter, and promise.

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