Archive for Wednesday, January 5, 2000

Years unfold, stories still untold

January 5, 2000

"There was so much of splendor and of glory, there was so much of wonder and delight, that there can be no ending of our story although the book is closed and it is night." Margaret Sangster

Yes the book is closed, but the splendor and the glory will continue even as the centuries change.

Today, as yesterday, the child will delight in the butterfly, the teen will bring home the trophy, the parent will cradle the infant, generations will collide in the goal to express themselves, some countries will be a peace, some will be at war, and according to one's belief, a supreme being will continue to preside over all. In short, life will continue in the ever-effervescent haze of unpredictability that we have always known.

Upon close inspection, the past year has been full of surprises in my family, and probably in yours as well.

Imagine the things we have lived through in this one short year births and deaths of loved ones, meetings with friends new and old, things we have lost and things we have won, triumphs, failures, illnesses, major changes in our lives new jobs, a change of residence, the confusing times in life when we struggle to reconfigure our long-term goals.

Magnify that by each individual in the world, and then by 100 to gain the experiences of a multitude for a century, and take that times 10 to complete the millennium.

It's more than a mind can absorb and when one ponders the activity going on in each human being around us, activity that has been ongoing since time began, it's amazing to think that the world can hold so much joy, sorrow, hopes and dreams.

I think of people who have left this world before us and how, as long as they are remembered their influence remains.

Atop Hubbel Hill at the cemetery, I think of Mrs. Rawlings and the songs she sang to us as children My Old Kentucky Home, Old Black Joe. I think of her peaceful, gentle ways.

I think of Sara Mae Diekman, also resting in Hubbel Hill, and the way she held court at Cain's Drug Store and encouraged young ones to speak their minds, to read, and to do well in school.

I think of Rosemary Holton, in fact, still today I can practically hear her voice admonishing me to "act like a lady," and when I make coleslaw and gravy today, of course I make it the way that Rosie taught me.

I think of this town that I love the town where I was raised and the town that until a few years ago seemed so far and so remote from the city.

The growth we are seeing scares me. It used to be that, driving in from Kansas City at night, Tongie was the edge of the darkness, the quiet harbor seemingly so far from city lights.

Today as we become more and more one with city lights, there are questions to ponder. How can the growth add to, not detract from the beauty of the countryside? How can our city maintain its genuine old fashioned integrity and yet merge with city values?

Our town's founders saw the splendor and glory of building a town from scratch. Imagine the thrill of seeing the first brick buildings erected on Fourth Street the pride citizens must have felt in knowing they were a part of the progress. Like today, we all remain, or can remain almost as large a part of the progress of tomorrow.

And as the writer said in the beginning, the cycle continues. "There can be no ending of our story although the book is closed and it is night."

For tomorrow, we have learned, has arrived. And, depending on how you set your calendar, a new millennium, the rest of the story, has begun.

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