Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Street



"No one is rich enough to do without a neighbor."
-Proverb

I grew up on the outskirts of a village that then boasted a population of less than six hundred people and still today with less than seven hundred.
There are no stores, so one can just imagine the hair's breadth of space the village manages to occupy in the world.
There is a single street, known to all as The Street, which stretches about the length of ten houses and which can be seen in its entirety from one end to the other. The general population is distributed among the outer regions of the area but The Street, with its Church and two pubs, is the sole meeting place and hub of the little village.
So yesterday, when Mater kindly read me a report from a county newspaper about an event which took place there, I could not contain my bewilderment.
Some fellow had been struck with an implement by unknown assailants- I strongly suspect that it was connected to a feud that spilled over from a sorry area of the city that is about fifteen miles away- and those at the newspaper thought it a good idea to give specific details about where the argument had taken place.
The unfortunate occurrence transpired "on the North Side of Main Street."
The North Side, mind you.
I have not lived near the village in some years but I largely doubt that the Road of Brevity has had to be cut into divisions and regions and classified according to its polar direction and astral coordinates.
A dear friend of my mother's, a fine neighbour to everybody and the very heart of the close knit community for as long as I can remember, has had something dreadful happen to her life.
Some youths have several times thrown eggs at her house, not out of spite toward her particularly, but from sheer mindless boredom and lack of discipline. Neither she nor any good, hardworking soul deserve to have their peaceful life invaded by idle pranksters with careless parents. The aforementioned parents have laughed off the matter and refuse to take her seriously or admonish their offspring. It is continuing and she fears it might not stop at broken eggs.
So, on the other hand, with such crime creeping in, is it any wonder that one end of the village might wish to turn its back on the other?
I suggest, though, that it remain The Street and that the encroaching and alarming trouble be solved by all people together, as a concerned community. Otherwise, I can envision the North Side being segmented into similar quarters and each of those quarters being sectioned into another North, South, East and West and on and on until even the local dairy cows begin to glare at one another in brown-eyed animosity.

9 comments:

Kip de Moll said...

In a larger town, we're trying to section off those pieces to create neighborhood and community, neighborhoods from one street to the next. It's good to know there is a place to draw the line!

tangobaby said...

I am sad for The Street. I've never lived in a place that tiny, where in theory one could walk and live safely. Even though I've never lived like that, I always liked knowing that there are such places that are unspoiled by society's problems at large.

I hope this is an unfortunate phase and that normalcy prevails again.

Jaime said...

Even the smallest of places suffer these days. So sad. Where are we going as a society? Why can't people just take care of each other?
This makes me want to hug everyone I see tomorrow and add some extra love.

TheElementary said...

Kip, thanks for your words. Our street is so small that it can only do harm by sectioning it off but no doubt it works for large areas where people perhaps didn't know each other anyway.

Tangobaby, I'm sure that discipline will reign again, but it'll take some hard work. It used to be so peaceful but life does change and not always for the better.

Jaime, I think if people took care of each other that things would run much smoother. Sadly, kindness isn't much of a money maker and it gets ignored. Thank you for your very warm and always hopeful thoughts.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

I too have never lived in a place that tiny.... but my pa grew up in a tiny village like that. I remember many tales he liked to tell you him and his brother engaging in all sorts of shenanigans when they were lads ....considering my pa is now in his mid-80s I think it is safe to say this type of 'behavior' is not new - the kids aren't 'bad' the side of the street isn't 'bad' but the behavior is.... but my pa and all his brothers did grow up to be fine, hardworking, upstanding citizens, so there is hope.

the key is of course engagement - in tiny and large places

The Texican said...

The slide is happening everywhere. We don't want to discipline the little imps for fear of damaging their creativity. And, heaven forbid the punishment is administered by their parents. Leave that to the Police and Courts, as if they had nothing else to do. I'm riled up now The. :)

Barb said...

I so enjoy your thoughts which you so eloquently put down every day. As well, I am amazed that you seem to always have a post every day. Hats off to you and all your wonderful thoughts and memories. Barb

stamperdad said...

And I thought the place I grew up in was small. It unfortunately a fact of life that in today's world, violence can occur anywhere regardless of size.

Steve

TheElementary said...

Kimy- oh, definitely it's not new but there's a nastiness to some of it now, and that kids get away with it.
I try to imagine if I had thrown eggs at her door when I was young.
Oh my, I'd never have done it again. That's what missing. Kids have always tried things, and there have always been bad people but usually there was respect. Your last line also is so, so true.

Texican, I'm riled up too. That neighbour is a good person and she'd be in trouble if she said a single word to them. She has no rights. And I spoke before of the police in my area- they actually laugh and refuse to come and talk to the parents. Sigh...

Barb, I'm a bit late today, haven't posted today's yet. I'm getting to it but thank you for your lovely words. I'm most happy that I've driven myself to writing every day. I never had a routine before. Kind and thoughtful blogs like yours keep me going.

Steve, so true. Once you take- to use Kimy's word- engagement, out of society, it can happen anywhere. It's the communication and neighbourliness that matters.

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