I was in another New England town the other day, not my town, not that I live in any town per se and more along a river, and in this town which is an unusual and attractive town since it is built on a plateau where the main section of the road-in runs along a level plane. Beautiful homes. Easy walking. And right in the center of this town, on this plane, is a playing field, wide and sunny and all theirs, devoted to a school and children. The parking lot to get the kids here rings this large field and this is where the mothers and fathers come every day to leave-off and pick-up. It's quite an impressive civic and family duty to behold. Yes, the town is wealthy, but the center of town has an extremely active country store sort of facility run by what could be termed rednecks, and it's packed with all sorts of soup-to-nuts accessories, even a take out salad I saw one worker carry out along with cigarettes and two lag bolts for a job across the street. I bought a watch cap for $5.29. Black. Something I've always worn for the last 50 years. It cost twice that where I live.
So back to the kids, this sunny wide field, where it takes up all the center of the town. I've never seen a school or playground devoted with such expanse to children in any town before. Nearby I stood in a store with a woman clerk I just met and said to her with a nod of my head, "Look at those kids playing — dressed like it's still summer in shorts and t-shirts, and all the color!" She nodded and said "Yes, but there are also many of these same kids who have been badly affected by the hurricane (Irene) that blew through a year ago." I looked over again and watched these troubled children playing with such freedom.
They are like thousands of children haunted by the big storm of a year ago. Unlike their parents who are stewed in their troubles, children can still run. Wear scruffy clothes. Play with one another. No real bias as to color, race, gender; let's just play. There's the sun, run in it. They do. It's 55 degrees and they are dressed for July. It's late October. Another hurricane (Sandy) is on its way.
One of the only ways possible to balance the scales of children so troubled by a haunting memory, or nightmare, is to equal it in status. Give a good to the bad, if that is at all possible. Some say a trip to Disney World. I say how about making a better country? Why visit a fake world when you can build and shape a real world? Have we lost all context to why we exist? Or are we still moping around asking that very question: "Why do we exist?"
Same with adults, who most haven't had nearly the volume to absorb what they went through with 9-11, and before that the cheating ceremony of a Presidential election in 2000. Which may have happened again in 2004 (within Ohio), and in both cases we were given a village idiot as a President. One more figure head for the Neo-cons to channel in and run the show, ruin many countries, causing death, hardships and forcing broken economies to keep the masses broken, twisted and controlled.
Get a smart cookie like Barack Obama in there and he just starts to expose the corruption and where people can maybe take control of their actions and lives and make a better world for themselves. Get out from under the daily threat and foreboding, find a field to run in.
A hurricane is coming for the eastern seaboard. We're about to be together. And when we're forced together I only see people always working for people no matter race, color, gender, style, appearance or religion. Sometimes it takes a hurricane.
We have the outdoors as ready as we'll ever be, and indoors. The big trees have some idea something is coming, it's in the branches. Get your hair washed now, it may be some time without power. Both chain saws are fueled and sharp.
photo © bob arnold