Melancholy about lost times

Sincere moments reminiscent of our distant past sometimes occur today as if they were a fine artifact in an archeological dig. We have long forgotten certain attitudes and experiences that were moments to live by. Often, it may be recalling the good teen years or perhaps a person who became a good friend but has moved on. Many can recall tender moments with children and pets – those moments when emotions are full.

Mariner and his wife had such an experience. Recently, her sister passed away. The news traveled fast in town as well as all over the country through social media.

We received many email and telephone condolences and we received two visits from unrelated friends with fine food gifts in hand. Both were older and were doing what was expected sixty years ago. When mariner lived here sixty years ago and someone passed on, the entire community stepped forward to assist the bereaved family. There was a standing inter-denominational team of women who took over a church to prepare a memorial meal or otherwise provide support. Social clubs like the Lions, American Legion and Eastern Star would perform a service recognizing the deceased. To paraphrase a recent post, everyone knew everyone’s name.

Such deep communal affiliations are not common in our transient society today. The visits from our friends, one of which had greeted mariner and his wife on the first day we moved in, sparked old social memories that aren’t around anymore. We miss them. Will younger folks ever experience the personal commitments to communal living?

Ancient Mariner

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