Louise Penny is a Canadian author that writes an award-winning mystery series. Recently I finished one of the latest, Glass Houses. Three Pines near Quebec is often the fictitious setting for this excellent series; a village someone finds when lost. In the Authors Note, Louise Penny writes – Some might argue that Three Pines itself isn’t real, and they’d be right, but limited in their view. The village does not exist, physically. But I think of it as existing in ways that are far more important and powerful. Three Pines is a state of mind. When we choose tolerance over hate, kindness over cruelty, goodness over bullying, when we choose to be hopeful, not cynical, then we live in Three Pines.
Here in Rocky Mount, we must embrace the state of mind that Louise Penny writes about: tolerance over hate, kindness over cruelty, goodness over bullying. These values were taught in the world I grew up in. I count it a blessing that I am able to see the good in people, recognize heroes and generous hearts. I was left with a collection of what I think of as sacred memories that inform how I see the world today. Simple things – I remember riding a bicycle home at twilight, the sound of a tennis ball on a clay court, a kiss goodnight on the front porch just short of curfew. People were honorable, they worked hard to give their children more than what they’d grown up with. Politics spawned statesmen. I know that a positive state of mind isn’t all that is needed when building a dream, but it is a must if the dream has any chance of coming true. Be sure you are sitting on the positive end of the teeter-totter. With newly elected leadership, those with business acumen and a moral compass sitting on the other end, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
It doesn’t matter my age when June arrives, I have that ‘last day of school-feeling.’ Three months stretched out before us to reclaim the best of summertime. In addition to believing in Rocky Mount may I suggest a stack of books, tomatoes from the farmers market with Duke mayonnaise, salt, and white bread. Let’s look for fireflies in the shrubs, surely there are some left. Let’s make room on the garden bench to remember those who are gone, but never forgotten. Go downtown on a coffee crawl, get to the Mill for a cold glass of beer, dine at our restaurants, and shop. Enjoy the summer possibilities that life holds, especially the possibilities of Rocky Mount.