Driving home one afternoon in early December just about the time the sun turns magenta and starts to set, I was privileged to come across a scene so inheritantly American it stayed with me all evening.
Being an artist I tend to see things that could be translated into a painting.This was one of those rare moments, all ten seconds of it and I knew would make Norman Rockwell proud.On a small street in the middle of the block in Dallastown PA a snippet of time stood still.Dallastown is “Every Town USA”.It is lined with well kept homes that reach the sidewalks, some Victorian, always adorned with flowers, sometimes a wreath on a door or banners that read “Welcome Friends”.The folks all know each other and probably will until they depart this world.Shop owners greet each other on the streets and open and close with a fanfare relegated to the silver screen.
At this point in time, sitting at the red light close to “the square”, a woman was closing up shop for the evening.Her consignment shop“Little Blessings” for children’s garments and outgrown highchairs was shutting down for the night.The double doors were held open by the owner on the left and flanked by a young girl on the right.Into her shop she was pulling a playpen that would be sold on another day.The young girl, school aged in feet too big for her awkward body, in knee highs and plaid school skirt, khaki green sweater pushed up at the elbows with mousy brown hair falling across her soon to be beautiful features leaned back on the door.She was picture perfect in her preteen aged stance.The sun was turning the sky a deep pink and added a blush to her cheeks already reddened by the December cold.The interior glow from the filmy incandescents fell out onto the sidewalk emphasizing the shadow and light of the scene.
In a world gone mad with cell phones, ipods, instant messaging, identity theft and road rage, a rare glimpse into the ghost of America past was revealed.Have we strayed so far from what is really important?What happened to keeping our children safe, getting a good education, and owning a piece of the American pie?Have we really changed so much as a culture that these common threads of our society have become unwound?
With the Holiday Season upon us and the shopping frenzy in full swing – can’t we all just stop and see the sunset, see that small town and begin to create our own Americana in our hearts?Who knows - that glow in our heart may reach out to touch even the grinchiest Grinch and give us all pause to think about what is important in our lives.I ask you to take a moment and give thanks for all that you have been given.Remember those that can’t be with us, those that are no longer with us and our soldiers who haven’t seen their own hometowns in now ten years and counting.
So Merry Christmas to you all.On my Santa List my item is but a small request – that you may fully enjoy the moments spent with family and friends this Holiday Season.And when I raise a glass in toast to the New Year, I will have you all in mind, with wishes for the best life has to offer.