A year passed

It was one year ago that I started to write weekly in this essay format. And what a year it has been. The horrors of war, the sorrowful reports of failed advice, the deaths of our loved ones, the corporate frauds and the seemingly small losses occurring in our community. The leveling of a stately mansion on Highland Drive, or the wanton destruction of trees that shaped our views and provided a sense of continuum, or the clash of neighbors with institutions, each with their own agendas. Is the Country Day School an asset, or do its neighbors have a justified concern with the school's impact on their property values and daily lives? We all know that change is hard, but in our discomfort we often forget to celebrate.

The buses run, we do not have a plague of locusts, our children continue to surprise us with their achievements and insights, the water comes clear from the pipes, but we have recently learned that the pipes are fouling that icon of the schoolyard, the drinking fountain. This is an outrage, for we live in a culture that trusts its water supply. So it becomes ever more difficult to celebrate all the goodness that seeps through and informs our daily lives.

I write from the garden. That garden is our community. There are seasons, and the changing nature is constant. We stop in our tracks with the beauty that emanates from a rose. We curse the weeds that flourish in the sidewalk cracks. We feed ourselves from the prolific herbs and vegetables that thrive in our soils. We take the time to shop locally. We assume that the stores and restaurants will be open for us. The daily rhythms blind us to subtle changes, like the almost imperceptible shortening of daylight hours. But then there is a jarring jolt that focuses our angry passions, and we hate and loathe all change.

Yet change rules supreme. We fight it, and we are oblivious to it. After a year of putting words to the changing seasons and activities within our community, I want to stay silent while we move towards and through this election cycle. Hopefully the space I used in our local newspaper can be filled with other voices, other perspectives in our community during these upcoming seasons of change. At this time, I plan to return in mid-December with my writings from the garden.

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