Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Community: A River Flows Through It
I walked down the small side road, to the bridge which spans the river, leading to the neighbor's farm. I had admired this farm from across the bridge earlier in the summer. It is one of the most picturesque settings I have ever seen. The buildings and the grounds are so beautiful and, I would suspect, lovingly maintained. They appear to have extensive gardens around their property (I did not photograph it out of respect for their privacy).
I stood on the wooden bridge, in the warm, late summer sun, and looked at the river in both directions, as it comes around the corner from my place, passes under the bridge, and then flows down and around the bend. While I was doing this, and taking a few photos, the owner of the farm, and his dog, Daisy, came down to greet me. I introduced myself and we realized we had known each other many years ago. He had been one year ahead of my older son, Trevor, in the local school. He had bought his parents farm and was attempting to carry on the family tradition.
He spoke in a handful of sentences of having to make changes. He had recently reduced his herd of cattle down to two. He expressed no fear, just acceptance of change. He spoke of how he and his wife would be focusing more on their large bed of raspberries and other produce they would be offering for sale next summer. We talked about the need for shopping locally and creating change from the ground up. It was a brief, but meaningful, visit. We had found common ground, standing there in the middle of this bridge, a bridge that spanned generations, that spanned the change we're feeling in the world and the hope for a meaningful way of life. He invited me to come back whenever I wished.
I thanked him and then walked back to my spot on the river. As I sat under the trees, by the rocks along its banks, I found myself able to stay in the moment, to sit in peaceful silence. My burgeoning sense of community, here along the river, had swept away any trace of melancholy.