Once I inhaled the air that pervaded my nostrils, I could smell the historic, yet crisp scents of soybeans and winter wheat that were a subtle duet of olfactory pressure. The Mid-Atlantic breeze famous for its serene touch can trace its source to this area, and it is not particular in whom it chooses to kiss. Among its remarkable setting lays an affluence lauded for its prevalence and persistence amidst a changing world. The neighbors seem to walk with a grace bestowed only to royalty, and despite this air of prosperity, they all carry a truth of humility in their voices upon commencing a conversation. Indeed, Forbes magazine named this town as among the most educated small town in the United States, in addition to being among the top three most livable cities in America.
Welcome to Bethesda, Maryland.
Bethesda is a town without boundaries, both literally and figuratively. It is merely a census-designated place in which no true definition exists to capture its justice. The opulence of the city is supported by its coveted zenith of education, wealth, and health – their veracity cannot be denied. People gave respectful nods to one another as they went about their daily enterprises. Whispers of opportunity and progression are almost heard in the winds, and subsequent gazes upon the multitude of buildings in the area reflect the stable economy laden within. Indeed, if the American Dream does exist, as I know it does, its conceptualization can be located here. It makes sense to me that Bethesda means “House of Kindness” in Hebrew – it is certainly felt here.
Within Bethesda lays a community called Avenel, and although I could not find any historic links as to the origin of its name, I did find that the magnificence of Bethesda seemed to concentrate itself into this area. Large homes acted as ornaments to a broad landscape that stretched itself towards the horizon. It would be fallacious to call this community as a place to live, but rather, as a place to flourish. The roofs of each home seemed to slope towards me, as if they were genuflecting in direct fealty to the families it hosted. The luxury was not only displayed on the homes themselves, but the immediate atmosphere also showcased an opulence that is apparent throughout the entire community. Never did I feel unwelcome or unworthy to be graced by its presence. Indeed, the Avenel community mimicked rather successfully the union between Mother Nature and modern function.
Avenel maintains its ability to cherish its residents by providing natural amenities, including golf courses, hiking trails, and Great Falls. The acreage is a delightful contrast to the azure sky hanging above, while the wisps and sounds of the nearby Great Falls seems to dance in choreographed unison. Part of its charm stems from its prime location, as it is roughly fifteen miles away from Washington, D.C. Avenel can therefore be best described as “Bethesda’s grand foyer,” which allows its neighbors to engage in casual conversation on life’s frivolities, while simultaneously giving them a precursor to the coming days’ memories.
Living in the Avenel Community reminds me of a ten course dinner hosted for those with proclivities towards fine dining. Unlike a traditional three-course meal, the dinner is not to be tasted, but experienced. Avenel is your ten-course dinner. The people are as proficient as they are kind, and the environment does not shy away from impressing you with its vast landscape and immaculate residences. Whenever I take a walk through Avenel, I make sure to pay close attention to my steps. All I hear are sounds of exclusivity, and it reminds me that the melody of magnificence is not only seen, but heard. This entire area symbolizes the integrity and indulgence for which I’m sure every homeowner actively searches. I am glad that this little treasure was never buried, or else I would personally dig it up myself and share it with those who understand life’s pleasantries.