Today I had one of my work days down in Benzie County. I attended the Executive and Fundraising committees for the Human Service Collaborative. One of my favorite groups to work with. I have been attending the collaborative for almost 10 years and every time I drive down, for this committee or the larger Collaborative meeting, or on my way out of Benzonia, I think..."I could live in this county." Now, don't get me wrong I LOVE Leelanau County.. love living here.. love the towns, and the absolutely drop dead views and zillion places to hike, swim ( yea white sand beaches), snowshoe ( right out the backdoor) etc. etc. outdoor list ....
.... but there is a quality to the people in Benzie county that is SO different from Leelanau and it goes without saying, different than Grand Traverse county.
Even though I desire to bridge the divide between myself and what is deemed the "OTHER", we are all predisposed, until we are united with the divine, to simply be seperate and different....goes without saying right? It's all in the honoring and appreciating and not getting bent out of shape or holier than thou about people different than ourselves. "It takes all kinds to make the world go'round."
Well, Benzie county?..... more poverty than you can shake a stick at.. loads of money there too..but grass roots interest in each other and for each other. Small businesspeople at the table with human service workers, bankers saying hello to farmers they actually know, judges stopping to chat with me, someone they don't know from Eve.
It's a friendly place with beautiful scenery, and I know when we have our fun-ride fundraiser this spring to raise money for families in need, the trail will be filled with lots of "Others", all raising a hand to each other.