1.13.2009

Homeland

I traveled today. Through the heart of Florida.

Myakka City. Arcadia. Okeechobee. Indiantown.

Old Florida. The Florida of my ancestors.

Young Florida. The Florida without guile or pretense or glitz.

Where the air is ripe in one breath with the earthiness of manure and in the next with the dancing perfume only citrus can create.

Where the Florida pampas hosts cattle, their white bird entourages and rustling brush as far as the eye can see. Endlessly.

The heart of Florida is its own entity.

It is primitive, a place where birds of prey dip and dance uninhibitedly to a centuries-old rhythm over carcasses of comrades.

It is unsullied, a place where a chain store refers to the local jewelry shop and the only neon around highlights a classic Ballantine Beer sign.

It is lush – a place abundant with full sabal palms, tall pinched scrub pines, the occasional mossy oak, and color highlights provided by ubiquitous oranges and graceful Bougainvillea.

It is austere, silent yet knowing, unadorned with man-made trappings yet magnificently beautiful.

It is rural, in the purest sense of the word, balmy with the underlying scent of humidity and money.

I traveled today. Through the heart of Florida.

And the heart of Florida beat within me.

6 comments:

TopSurf said...

Beautiful.

New York Jew said...

Incredibly, Jew seems to have underestimated you, and he held you in such high esteem already!

Ruprecht said...

Y'know ....

Rupe was attracted to the "lush" at the beginning. You did not disappoint.

Though ... the "... underlying scent of humidity and money" made Rupe a bit woozy.

Just sayin' ....

bronsont said...

Knows of where you speak, and the truth was told.

Good job!

Web-Betty said...

I need to go see the heart of Florida for myself. And all this time I thought it was the Mouse.

Wonderfully lyrical post Citizen Jane!

Wildhair said...

Jane, this is beautiful. I love how you love Florida as you do. You do not speak of your home state as a plain piece of land, but as a person who's been around to walk with in life.
Thank you for sharing this with us.