By Bobbie Poynter
Never in my life have I seen so many people in one little town work so hard to show off its beauty.
And I’m not just talking about all the pristine landscaping at every major road intersection. And dare we mention all the colorful annuals and perennials planted all around the court square.
But that’s just the beginning. Planting the flowers and shrubbery is one thing. Keeping them alive and healthy is another in itself, especially during a drought.
I’ve noticed other towns that attempted to do the same beautification projects to their towns. The only problem is, once the greenery was planted, obviously no one could decide whose job it was to care for it.
Sadly, if you’re driving through one of these towns – and you’re paying attention – you’ll notice the drooping petals of the flowers and the brown leaves dropping into the planters. It truly is a wonderful idea. If it’s done right, you can’t help but smile as you pass by, subconsciously taking in the colorful scenery, not to mention the occasional aroma of roses as the wind wafts it towards you as you walk by or through your open car window.
They say ‘it takes a village,’ but I’ve never really seen a more perfect description of that proverb than I have here in Barbourville. It’s not only in the way the ‘village’ people pull together to make the town more beautiful, but also in the way the community works together to take care of its own.
It’s in how we care for and show such loving respect to our elders. It’s in how children’s needs are put first in our parks. It’s in how our community leaders ignore the soapbox, and prefer to stay down on the same level as those they serve.
Yes, I said, they serve the people. I’ve yet to see a single politician who could not take the time to stop and have a casual conversation with any one person in town.
Of course, outsiders and visitors to town won’t ever be here long enough to see the good that goes on behind the scenes. All they’ll see is the beauty of the town’s exterior. And that’s a good thing. We want them to see it, to experience it.
But, we all know there’s so much more to this town than its exterior beauty. And knowing that, even we appreciate it more.