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Clarkston is a 1.3 square mile city right outside Atlanta. A small town with all the amenities of the city. There's nothing especially outstanding about our city if you are just driving through. There's a lot of apartment complexes, small businesses, and churches. But that's about it. On a cold day, when people seek the warmth of the indoors, you might not even notice what really makes the city so special- the people. Clarkston is known as "the Ellis Island of the South" and "the most diverse square mile in America." Many people from all over the world end up in Clarkston for the same reason, they are refugees who have been resettled in the United States.

On a warm day, you see the beauty of this place. You pass a few Nepali men in their colorful hats sitting on a corner taking in the day. You may see an African woman wearing beautiful colors and prints, balancing her groceries on her head as she walks home. You'll see a group of kids playing soccer on a dusty field laughing and speaking in their native languages. You'll see 15 passenger vans full of people driving to or from work, often a factory that is willing to employ refugees. Walking through an apartment complex, you'll smell the spices common to the countries of the people who live there. Our city comes alive when it's warm outside.

As spring weather starts to settle in, I love driving through our little city and taking the surroundings. I feel like I've traveled the world with the sights, sounds, and smells I experience just on my way to the local coffee shop.

What a beautiful place to be.


Emily HutchinsComment