Saturday, February 6, 2010

Why Idaho?

Lately, I've realized just how attached I've become to Idaho, especially Rexburg, in just 5 years. I know that living in Idaho seems counter-intuitive to many of my southeastern-United States-dwelling family and friends, but allow me to express my thoughts in a way that I haven't before.

I suppose that I've become something of an unofficial-official spokesperson for Rexburg, having worked in communications with the local university and hospital for a number of years now. Of course, to be a good spokesperson, you have to really believe in what you say, and, fortunately, I really do. There's something beautiful and simple about Idaho that appeals to me and so many others who have made Rexburg their home.

I've been thinking lately, I wish that I could see how much of Rexburg's growth in the past few years could be traced back to me in one way or another. It's been exciting to watch the Entrepreneurial Center blossom and grow in Rexburg, and then spread to other university communities in Idaho, considering that only 4 years ago, it was no more than a rough concept I had outlined in a word processor. That tiny seed has grown into a grove of trees more rapidly than any of us could have imagined. And, the arrival of just one medical specialist in Rexburg, a long-time friend and neighbor from Georgia, has rippled through the medical community and attracted other specialists, who would have otherwise had no interest here.

I'm not saying that this is all because of me. No, so many have played a part in Rexburg's growth, and this place has an appeal that's all its own, like I mentioned before. Certainly, there's a Greater Power at work in people's lives, as well. But, when I look over Rexburg and marvel at the Grand Tetons and the Snake River, winding through the valley, I can't help but marvel, too, at the influence each person has, and how so many have ended up here, blissfully content in a desert wilderness.

Don't get me wrong, winter does have a tendency to drag on, but even the winter scenery will take your breath away, and I'm not talking about the 50 mph winds. In this valley, Mother Nature wears her simplest, most beautiful dresses. The mountains are unobscured, untouched spaces where the land meets the sky. It's pure - almost sacred. Life is simpler, too. People are neighborly, and they love the outdoors almost as much as they love their families - although the two usually go together in the shape of camping trips and hikes. This is a place where people put their families first. Grudges and prejudices are relatively few and far between.

It's true, this is how people live in the Gem State. And, while life in Idaho isn't always perfect, I'm starting to believe that this is as close as it gets on earth.

- Jenny