Friday, August 3, 2007

A Study in Contrasts

Quiet as a tomb this morning---sultry mist suspended over the tall rusty grass, spared from the mower’s blade this year. Stern gray walls and elegant dark pines stand in silence---anticipating. Perhaps an artist could interpret the subtle color contrasts to communicate the utter perfection of these common landscape elements this morning, on this date, at this moment, barely past dawn. Perhaps a gifted novelist could construct a haunting tale within the scene. I, however, am just humbly thankful for this beauty.

A week ago, at 10:40 a.m., I sat in a parking place marked “Taxi Stand” in Kennedy Plaza, waiting to taxi my daughter-in-law from her stern gray bank to see my granddaughter perform in “Cinderella” across the city. For twenty minutes I was immersed deep in the metropolitan heart --- in a place teeming with an astounding variety of human beings hurrying in pursuit of their affairs. In my horseless carriage, fresh from the pumpkin patch, I felt more like an alien in a hover craft from the far reaches of the cosmos. Let it be noted that I was born in Providence.

As long as I have lived in Foster, it has never ceased to amaze me that we can travel to and from another world in barely more than a half hour. The Federal Census, in fact, tells us that most Foster residents of working age do just that at least five days per week. We are a bedroom community, not a rural community as we like to imagine. Yet we manage to maintain our imaginary sense of place rather well in spite of the every-so-often threats to our land development and more than a few intrusive architectural blunders.

I am thankful for the collective imagination that has, so far, kept Foster a place apart. Yet, a vague and haunting guilt clouds the joy of life so removed from the pressing problems of the teeming cities --- a bit like the mist suspended above the rusty grasses of the field at dawn.

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