God’s Paintbrush


Photo courtesy of Google images

Evan Vongas

I stand here in a town not well known by many people. A small spark of life surrounded by vast lands of hills and forests of Northern NJ. A small city that has made its history by being a second hand in important events. You’d have to actively search on a map if someone told you about this place. Nothing happens in this quiet little town. People go about their day, every day, for 365 days, ever year, in this small refuge within the woodlands of such a small state. You could jog to the borders of this town and be back home before 12 o’clock This place, like so many other places in this vast country, houses no secrets, dark nor light, and no one ever expects visitors to stay here for more than a week, let alone start a life here. It is near silent each day. Nothing happens.

And yet…that is what makes it so marvelous. A community founded by immigrants, English settlers both loyal to the crown and the revolution, slaveholders and abolitionists, Republicans and Democrats, White and Black; and all live here in a place outside of what most consider the real New Jersey. When you expect trash-filled streets and drugged homeless wandering those streets of Trenton, Jersey City, Newark, and Camden, you find not only peace of mind, but peace of soul. The quiet aura and beautiful landscape are what at least drive me to this place. Each season has its splendor in its own way. In the spring, you have clear blue skies and rain showers that spring the beautiful flowers and trees back from the resting and welting. In the summer, all manner of God’s creatures roam this place. From the tiniest frog to the largest black bear to the beautiful symphony of the many species of birds that sing their wonderful melodies each day. And, of course, the families of deer that roam across this paved Yellowstone National Park, and behave like they’re in it as well. It is not uncommon to find 8 or 10 deer simply living around and walking freely among the houses. In the fall, the leaves paint a canvas of colors and vibrance unseen anywhere else in this state. You walk through a wonderland of orange, yellow, and red as you come home from school. And finally, Mr. Frost spreads his ice cold blanket across the town, and children laugh and play in a winter wonderland as the year winds down to a close and the cycle of seasons starts again. Sure, it’s a formula so overdone and bland you could put it in a K-pop song. However, this place has something that makes it… different. I can’t even describe it. It’s like our own little Appalachia here, and nature speaks in kind to that. A contrast to the smog-filled communities of NYC and New Jersey. Something has spare this place from falling into that, and we haven’t even found what it is yet. This magical place, a testament to the Lord’s inner wisdom of peace on Earth where animals, man, an dnature live as one around the sins of the world, make this place worth living.

When God made the world and painted his masterpiece that we all live in today, there is no doubt in my mind that his paintbrush began here. I am so grateful to live here, and I am proud to call this place home.