Today, as I looked out the windows of my soon-to-be-former workplace, I noticed something I haven't seen in Flint in a very long time: cranes. Three of them, in fact.
As someone born in a city known more for its decay than its rebuilding, I was always envious of cities with copious cranes on their skylines. Cranes, to me, meant things were being built - or at least rebuilt or at the very least cared for and maintained. Having cranes means having a future. Having cranes means we believe in ourselves enough to plan for things to come. And now we have cranes. I'd been waiting a long time for them to return.
And the irony is now that the cranes have returned, I may have to go elsewhere to secure employment. I'm reminded of the story of Moses where after 40 years in the wilderness he gets a fleeting view of the promised land... knowing he's not destined to make it there with everyone else.
But at least I got this brief tantalizing glimpse of a possible brighter future for my poor battered hometown. At least I got to see the cranes.
In other news, on Monday the Flint Journal published my opinion piece about the University of Michigan bailing out from WFUM. The response I've received has been overwhelmingly positive and for that I'm relieved. I know it probably won't make much difference in practical terms, but I felt compelled to make the case for the station, the viewers and the community it served. I did the best I could within the constraints of the 600-word limit.
Meanwhile, I am slowly cleaning out my office. Today, I'm going to be taking down a nicely framed wall poster showing a stunning picture of Michigan taken from space.
Packing Michigan away...
I wonder whether there's more symbolism there than I now realize.