It takes a vast amount of compassion and imagination to appreciate a place as unremarkable as this. In a town this small, you must invent your own fun. With limited sources for entertainment, you are forced to explore and exploit your own creative conscience. You are incessantly compelled to dive into your subconscious mind and pray that you pull out something extraordinary. But, here in Calvert County, everything belongs to you. Everything and everyone here is family, which is something particularly exquisite.
This is a safe town. This is a town of thank-yous, excuse-mes, and good mornings. This is a town where others wave as you drive past. This is a see-the-stars-every-night type of town. The feeling of familiarity swaddles you like a warm blanket, yet is often the driving force for many to flee.
Physical environment shapes your self-concept and general frame of mind. Often times, you feel trapped here, like you’re sinking into the ground to be sealed off for good, never to escape. Everyone you know has their own rationale for wanting to leave, and their own dreams of the uncharted territory that looms in the distance. Everyone is eager to break away from the imprisonment of the small town life.
When you leave this town, you leave for something bigger. In Calvert County, everyone knows who you are. Out there, you are microscopic. You are invisible until you make yourself known. Out there everything is quick, and everyone is in a hurry. You must adapt to the unavoidable haste. People stare at cell phone screens or straight towards their destination. Excuse-mes and good mornings are minimal or inexistent. Life moves at a different speed. You will miss the quiet streets and the back roads and the big hearts. You will miss the constant daydreaming of the foreign terrain. You will begin to treasure the delicate beauty of the tiny town you once loathed.
How you paint our world depends on you. Though your surroundings and physical atmosphere can influence your perspective, it is up to you individually to open your eyes and revel in its splendor. You must learn every day to allow the space between where you are and where you want to be to inspire you, rather than discourage you. Suddenly, you will become awash in gratitude. This town will be your stepping stone to the destination you desire – whether it be across the globe, a notorious city, the next town over, or shockingly, right here in Calvert County – if you allow it to.
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t trying to desert this town, but as I imagine opening the door to the universe that lies ahead, I can’t help but admire this aging beauty surrounding me. I can feel the strength of togetherness and family. I can feel a paralyzing sense of nostalgia as I drive the familiar streets. I can feel the Chesapeake Bay running through my veins. There is love here in daydream nation, and although escaping may be probable, returning now and again is inevitable.