My hometown, Richmond, Virginia, has become a trendy area for its social networks, food scene, and focus on the arts. Over the years, their social magazines and websites have focused on what’s “Very Richmond.” Readers contribute anything from fishing on the James River shoreline to clubbing in Shockoe Bottom. This capital city is a hub of entertainment and culture, and the art scene beckons those who seek beauty.
Ten years ago, I moved to another capital city, albeit a bit farther north: Lansing, MI. While this capital also boasts cultural opportunities, the most obvious geographic feature to me at my earliest arrival was a towering trio of smokestacks. I’ll admit, I did not think they were a great welcome at the time. They aren’t exactly artistic.
Over the years, I’ve driven within sight of those stacks hundreds of times, and I’ve watched neighbors and friends drive off to work under their watchful shadow. Oh, they may not work in the factory at their foot, but they work in industry here; they sweat and come home smelling like a factory. Those stacks whisper the call to good people: hard-working, blue-collar moms and dads whose children have a better life for the grease and grime of machine shops and time clocks.
Yes, this masterpiece of WORK, every day a revolving door of weary laborers carrying thermoses and lunchboxes, weaves a beautiful tapestry of life that captures sacrifices made decade after decade for children whose parents want them to have a better life, and I wonder, “What could be better than this WORK of art?”
…and that’s the view from My Front Porch.