Why is it that, when there is the glorious prospect of a three-day weekend and all that time off to look forward to, I end up cramming way too much into it and WHAM, it's almost over? It's that pesky weekend/vacation/holiday time warp - where time morphs into a sprinter and is gone before you know it. Damn.
Most of my musings of late have had to do with a sort of nostalgic view of community. I have been talking to my parents and neighbors, both elderly, who have imbued me with their own sense of longing for what was. Back when there wasn't a subsidy for everything, communities pulled together and helped each other out. People were not spread so far apart and neighbors were aware of what their neighbors were going through. It is still true that people who have the least, tend to be the ones who step up first to help. I've noticed a lot of that sense of community in the blogosphere. It often takes the shape of prayers, healing thoughts, or what have you, but it also takes on a physical presence as well - an unexpected package in the mail containing a small, handmade gift to cheer the recipient - neither the giver or the receiver ever having actually met. It's quite a phenomenon.
Not surprisingly, I have always been rebelling. I was a contrary kid and that didn't change much through my 20s, 30s and well into my 40s. I still chafe at conformity, but I've learned to pick my battles instead of battling everything. I rebelled against the war. I learned a lesson many years ago, the summer between my junior and senior years in high school, when my father signed me up to accompany a busload of city kids from a church group who were going out to the Dakotas to help 'save' the Indians. Long story short, it was the other way around. The Indians saved me. They opened my eyes and showed me what true dignity and compassion was all about.
I still have some very passionate feelings and beliefs that I will defend to the death. While these days I don't grab a sign and go march in a protest, I do what I can within my daily living to contribute to the cause. For instance, I will not buy anything from India. I will not support a country that brutalizes its women. I try to limit what I buy from China. I try to recycle and reuse everything I can. It may be delusion, but I feel that even small acts can make a difference. Earth Day still means something to me.
I also feel that it is important to be involved in the well-being of your community. I contribute monthly to our food pantry - which also provides monetary assistance to families for heating oil and other necessities. There is almost no tax base in this community - no job opportunities, the education level is not great, we are in the middle of Booneyville, so people with limited means are almost trapped here.
I am hopeful that civility will make a comeback - maybe it will become as retro as tie-dye and distressed denim. But, when it comes back in style, I hope it's back to stay.