Some Opening Words
When talking about sense of place, many people have various perspectives that define their own. Spiritual connections, historical significance, comforts and amenities, maybe nostalgia or personal history, the list goes on. For me, the connection I have to Douglasville is very multifaceted, rooted in family and personal history, nostalgia and memory, and of course, the experiences and the community. I’ve lived here most of my life, and I still discover new things around here! This exploratory article will give you, the reader, a glimpse into my life with a closer look at my hometown of Douglasville. You’ll discover my sense of place in this remarkable town.
Douglasville as a home isn’t defined solely by what you can find within its county borders of course. There are places in driving distance around it that add to the local charm, from family run dining establishments, to parks, and local businesses run by capable, kind, dedicated dependable people, there’s plenty speaking to how vibrant this community really is deep down. No community is perfect of course, but I’ve found some of the gems here. On top of that, Douglasville has a mix of a traditional, rustic atmosphere, and modern, contemporary design and architecture.
The core of the town’s soul can be found in and around it’s downtown area, centered around the intersection of Veteran’s Memorial Highway and Campbelton Street. But, the ultimate experience of the town is found when you venture outside this area, into the wider expanse of Douglasville and surrounding boroughs. Perhaps you like shopping and you’d like to check out the Douglasville Pavilion, or the Village at Chapel Hill. Maybe you feel like watching a movie and hanging out with friends at Regal Cinema at the Arbor Place Mall. Perhaps you want to take a step closer to nature at places like Clinton Farms Nature Preserve or Deer Lick Park. Are you a history buff? Check out the Art and History Museum of Douglasville at the old Courthouse, and while we’re on the topic of art, maybe you wanna pay a visit to the Cultural Arts Council of Douglasville. When you’re done, maybe come back to check out the pubs, shops, and the beautiful O’Neal Plaza back downtown. Whatever you’re in the mood for, there’s no shortage of things to do, places to see. For me, all of them have a home somewhere deep in the nostalgic recesses of my memory.
Those memories aren’t just about the places themselves either. They’re about lessons and people. I’ve been learning from this town and bonding with friends and family in it for a very long time, and the people I trust most live and work around here. Those bonds alone are a major reason why I feel like I should stay, why I should lay down roots. They’re not the only reason though. I’ve come to love these streets, these forests, these trees, the rustic spirit of downtown, the farmlands and backroads. You get it, I could go on forever, and I love sharing it with the people in my life. There’s something about this place that’s captured my interest at the spiritual level. I feel calm when I roam this town at the wheel of my car. And though I can’t do it as often anymore, I still try to find time and save fuel for it, often taking many detours after I’ve finished other important business in town. Some businesses do come and go, dining establishments too, but the silver lining there is that the changes that come to this town often bring new people to meet, or new experiences to be had. And there’s always something to do outside its borders too.
Douglasville is my central hub. It’s my home base, where I begin all my journeys and adventures. And like I said earlier, it’s also about the lessons. The people around here, the experiences you can have, the connections you can make with nature here, they all can teach and remind you many things, not the least of which is to be grateful for what you have in life. A lot of that also comes from the religious teachings from the churches in town. There’s tons of them around here, but the two major ones I was part of were First Presbyterian Church and Colonial Hills Baptist. Two denominations yes but the overarching lessons they taught there are the same, and I find reminders of them every day, especially here in Douglasville.
Some of my main takeaways from it all are as follows. I learned in this town to be honest, to work hard, yet have fun with life and with friends. I learned to take the good with the bad, to accept life as it is. I learned to stress less and go with the flow, still working on the stress part at times but Doctor Gatcha helps me with that through dietary support. That’s another lesson, take care of yourself. Your mental, emotional, and physical health matter. Eat healthy, and always provide your body with the nutrients it needs. There’s a lot here but it all boils down to this: Make the most of life, and never take what you have for granted.
A long list of cliché lessons if there ever was one right? Yet they’re some of the most important ones I ever learned, and I learned them right here, from this town, from its churches, its parks, its restaurants, its venues…. from its people. All the lessons started with my parents, but they branched out to come from the whole county in some sense or another.
At the end of the day, my sense of place in this town comes from the memories and lessons I gained here, the people I’ve met and lived my life around, the spiritual connection I have to this place, and its quiet, historical, rustic and rural atmospheres. I’ll end off with a quote from a recent conversation, a nice little summary for you to think about.
“Whether it’s the rustic atmosphere of the parks and downtown, the sense of history and spirit you can find here in its many churches and venues, or the memories I’ve collected from all over this town…
Whether it’s the friendly and interesting people you can meet, or the fun activities you can enjoy with friends and family all over…
All of these elements contribute to my sense of place here. And I learned something here. Perhaps the most important lesson yet. Even if it hides for a day, even if there is are stressful moments, the sun always shines again. There’s always light to be found…
This is my home, one way or another.
And it is likely to stay that way for a very long time...”
I’m not done yet! What better way to talk about the area than to show you a few of the places and people that make it a home? Be sure to check out the video, then scroll on down to my three links to learn a little more about my hometown. It’s an interactive article experience! Go ahead and explore! 😀
Here is an interactive map marking significant points of interest, including the places I want to talk about in some of my exploratory articles! Feel free to look around at other points of interest too! A quick click of the top right button of the map will give you a full screen view too!
For a full, cumulative, sequential, and storied gallery of the images I collected for this project, check here!
For a closer look at some notable locations I’d definitely recommend checking out, the links below will provide that window.
- Clinton Nature Preserve – https://www.celebratedouglascounty.com/Facilities/Facility/Details/Clinton-Nature-Preserve-16
- Douglasville Art and History Museum – https://www.exploregeorgia.org/douglasville/arts-culture/galleries/douglas-county-museum-of-history-art
- Cenacle Café & Bistro – https://www.thecenaclecoffee.com/
- Farmer’s Table – https://www.farmerstablega.com/
- Functional Health Institute of Atlanta – https://drgatchadc.com/