Simple goodness missing for more than a blue moon
Once in a blue moon, there is moment of quietude in the daily occupation. It is a moment when time seems to stand still, and pressures of the day fall away. It seems to come, when it does, in the early-morning hours, when there are no cars and no walkers yet out.
It was in one of those moments when I found myself sitting at my desk, in an upper room where I have an office in my home, a room which in my growing-up years was my mother’s room. It still retains a sense of ease and comfort.
The street was unusually quiet that morning. No one was about. From my window, I could see the maple tree on the corner; in days past, the house was occupied by a man who worked at the cereal plant and his wife was the school nurse. On Saturday nights, they played cards with my parents.
In the house next door lives the great-granddaughter of the woman who lived there when I was a youngster. In the front yard, next to the porch, are rose bushes — seven sisters, so named because of the bundle of seven bright-red roses that bloom there.
Farther south is a little house, now occupied by men driving big trucks that spew gravel when they grind up the drive each evening. In years past this little house was white and the yard pristine; a white trellis with climbing vines, small statutes and figurines, grapevines in the side yard, and bridle wreath bushes with small, white blooms along the drive.
The woman who lived there worked for the dry cleaners downtown. On the front door was a hook where she hung the garments that she had repaired and received other garments that needed fixing.
Henry’s lived farther south had the first, oval-shaped fish pond that I had ever seen. On a hot summer day we lay on our stomachs and watched the fish weaving lazily among the lilypads.
In those days, the homes were neat and tidy and the yards well tended. Those were the days when what mattered most were home, work, family and neighbors. People seemed to respect one another in those days, took time to say hello, spent an evening with friends playing cards, taught neighborhood youngsters about plants and ponds. They just took time in the midst of hard work and long days to savor life.
I don’t know where those days of simple goodness went, but I wonder if hard economic times and days of uncertainty will draw people and neighborhoods back to a place when what mattered most was closest to home and heart. Where once in a blue moon, we will walk down a tree-lined street and meet people whose names and faces we know, and the knowing alone will suffice for all our needs.