February 16, 2020, Yuma-
Driving down AZ 95, towards this vibrant border city, I passed the remnants-the shell- of a western Arizona mainstay: Stone Cabin. It was, I’m told, a favourite stopping place for people traveling between Las Vegas and Mexico, during the 1950’s, ’60’s and ’70’s. There was a large gas station and a bustling snack bar, with space for families to get out and stretch their legs, in an area which otherwise had no amenities for travelers.
Today, as I drove past, there was only the shell of the building, with no signage indicating what once was. I knew what it was, only because of an earlier road mileage sign, on which Stone Cabin was listed. I could sense happy ghosts, of those who had found respite there, at least during the eight months a year that Stone Cabin’s proprietors kept it open. (There was not as much traffic through the area, during the hottest months of the year: May-August.)
Many things fall apart, in anyone’s life and in the life of a community, during the course of years, decades and, with respect to the larger social entity-centuries. I have a certain amount of time left and, while not knowing-or needing to know, how much that is, I will carry on with what I sense is given me to do.
Society does much the same. Some feel it is a necessary social project, to build barriers: Walls and fences, which they hope will keep unsavory intruders from entering the American nation. I have my doubts, as no wall has thus far accomplished its stated purpose, in perpetuity. We’ll see. The project has accomplished a division of people, but across ideological lines. It won’t physically crumble until long after the generations which have reached adulthood, as of the present day, are gone. My own hope is that it will generate a meaningful and earnest conversation, between the physically-divided peoples, albeit from a spot where the most fearful people are experiencing a sense of relief. When unity is realized, the wall’s builders will have unwittingly obviated its purpose.
Relics crumble, even after they have offered a fair number of people a sense of well-being.