Small Towns

Beltane                                             Full Planting Moon

As a cold winds down, the body’s defenses leave sludge from the war behind, most of it right now parked  behind my cheek bones.  I don’t know whether I really haven’t had a cold in two years or whether my memory isn’t what it was, but I know it’s been a while.  I remember why I don’t like being sick each time I get sick.  It feels yucky.  My plan is, next cold, 2012, just in time for the apocalypse.

A classmate from Alexandria High wrote on my facebook wall inquiring about my health.  Larry Maple has gone to a lot of effort planning a big reunion for our class, our 45th, this fall.  To have someone from home ask about my health created an unexpected warmth.  In a small town like Alexandria people know you, know how you are, care about how you are.  These small gestures, inquiring about health, being aware of a child’s graduation or birthday, remembering communal events create a web of concern that is community.

(Larry volunteers here, as did my Dad.)

In the teenage years this scrutiny can seem overwhelming and intrusive, invasive, so it’s no surprise that many small town teens, myself included, can’t wait to leave and to leave for a more anonymous environment like a big city or a big college campus.  As we age, though, those small gestures can make the actual difference between health and illness.  Then, the small town doesn’t seem invasive, rather it seems supportive and caring.

Of course, neither end of the continuum is the truth.  Small towns are networks of caring; they are also webs of prejudice and rigidity where your past never leaves.

To the weed front.  With hoe and clippers.

This entry was posted in Aging, Friends, Garden, Memories and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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