Remembering my ‘forest for the trees’ letter to the editor in the Rappahannock News a while back, think how boring our world would be if we all thought alike. Sort of boring, in my opinion. Differences of opinion can open possibilities and solutions, actions.
In the case of a closed mindset, all that happens is seeing those trees, not the forest. I recently saw a book review, uncensored, by a Williams College graduate. As a youngster living what he described as a difficult and challenging life, he chose to be open to new environments and grew to thrive wherever he lived.
Recent examples I’ve observed here include information considered in housing opportunities, addressing being able to build a small house for family on currently owned property. That passed, but with objection that it would circumvent an ordinance that is supposed to restrict growth and development of the county. We are reportedly experiencing a lack of sufficient housing here. A few small homes sprinkled around the county would help address supply without impacting the vast open spaces in existence. Furthermore, requesting that new buildings install the downward light shields would help protect our dark skies here.
Second example evolved during a conversation on a local listserv that was addressing the tailgating drivers on roads here. Comments described how allowing more tourist homes would just increase non-county residents driving dangerously on our narrow, twisting roads with the inherent dangers of wildlife unexpectedly plunging into them. I posted that perhaps guest/tourist places could include a page in their welcome information books cautioning guests about safe driving examples and important reasons why. Quick response to me was, ‘Where is that in the code? You are full of you know what.’ My reply was that mine was just a suggestion.
Moving on to my third example which was heard at a recent county government meeting: ‘We’ve always done it this way’ means, in my opinion, a status quo, a mindset not open to new environments as described by the Williams graduate above.
These ‘trees’ are roadblocks thrown up which impede the ways we need to address the natural changes that occur here and in many places. Show me a place where no change to adapt to circumstances occurred and I will show you a ghost town, shriveled as if vines like our ever present Virginia Creeper spread and choked it to death. We want to move forward and continue to nurture the vibrancy we must have to thrive in this Rappahannock County most of us love. Together, we can.