By Sarah Grey Ligon
Amidst the scariness and isolation of COVID-19, I find comfort in the town of Madison, the place that has been home for me my entire life. I can’t help but think that if I were a stranger to this town, it would still feel like home. The truth is that I have always loved life in this small town the way my family line has appreciated it for many generations. I tell my college friends “I am from Madison, Georgia, the prettiest small town in America.” The community and sense of kindness in these streets is unmatched.
I think that during this quarantine, I have come to the conclusion that there is no better place to be quarantined than Madison, Georgia.
I also admit that I am baffled that quarantine is the first time in my life that I have never had plans, other than finishing up my last semester of sophomore year at the University of Georgia.
In the first weeks of quarantine, my grandmother and I decided to read a book together, a chapter a day. Our book is called “The Secret” by Rhonda Brynne and is about the power of gratitude, and how giving thanks for the things, people, and possessions in our lives can shape our world to a world of happiness. The book offers a suggestion to say “Thank you ____ for ____”
Thank you Madison for the snowball bush in front of the Miles’ house I get to watch bloom and grow every morning as I bike to my grandmother’s house and the church chimes that play as background music.
Thank you Madison for the conversations with old friends, six feet apart in line at Crowes BBQ and the way the boys at Crowes know my family’s order by heart.
Thank you Madison for cool days in the yard to make raised garden beds that my mom has been wanting for years.
Thank you Madison for the deep roots that have been planted in Madison that both grandmothers get to share with my sisters and me.
Thank you Madison for two parents and two sisters that make school at home fun.
Thank you Madison for providing the perfect setting for playing dominos on the porch after dinner, as our neighbors pass and we get to catch up as they walk down our street.
Thank you Madison for the call-in-order I made at Madison Drug and how Ms. Maria knew it was “Sarah Grey” on the line.
Thank you Madison for a church home that cultivates a spirit of worship even when we can’t be together.
Thank you Madison for a life long friend like Mrs. Joanne Mathis who always makes me giggle and my dog, Porter’s tail wag.
Thank you Madison for family dance parties in the kitchen while we cook dinner.
Thank you Madison for neighbors like Thomas Martin that encouraged me to conquer the hill on Fourth Street on our neighborhood bike rides.
Thank you Madison for uncles with jokes and eggs and cousins with silly chalk art.
I can’t help but think, do people from Atlanta, Athens, Columbus, or Savannah have this calm hold over them during the chaos going on in our country. So much gratitude to be given for Madison, Georgia, the people and community that raised me and make quarantine an opportunity to appreciate and slow down.
Thank you Madison for being the best little town to quarantine in.