It is not just Robert Frost’s former sanctuary, or Bode Miller’s stomping grounds. It is more than rolling hills, high peaks, and low temperatures. This town stretches beyond its colorful Autumns, and small town rituals. Franconia is a place so special, so tattooed on my soul, it is more than what it merely represents to the outside world.
People come from all around to breathe our mountain air, and take in our unique scenery. However, the tourists only stay long enough to glimpse at the beauty of this place and temporarily drink in this portion of New Hampshire. They do not see the first buds of spring, or the hungry black bears as they wander from their winter slumbers. It is the small gestures that this town has to offer which keep me here. The familiar face in the grocery store. A kind, “Good morning,” at the coffee shop. It is the sense of community enriching this Granite State hideaway which makes it a true gem.
As a native to this land — and at a mere twenty-years-old — I fear the possibility of one day being forced to leave. With student loans, and pending bills, there may come a time where I will be inclined to look elsewhere for survival; I can only live in paradise for so long. With the possibility looming over my head that I may need to leave Franconia, I allow myself to be wrapped in the comfort of knowing that, of course, I will always return. No matter where my life takes me, I will be tied to this mountain town.
I ache in anticipation of one day having children of my own, and raising them on the fresh spring water, cold New Hampshire skiing trails, and magnificent, hidden swimming spots. This is the place where nature and mankind merge together. Where life moves a little bit slower; a little bit better. This is home.