July 4, 2022, Saugus- I walked past my now-renovated and much enlarged childhood home, and over to the short hill that served as backdrop for many adventures, back then.
It was on the above-seen hill that I slid down with my eyes closed, on both a disc and sled, somehow knowing just when to turn and avoid the tree that my sister was afraid I would hit. It was here that I told fantasy tales of ghosts and imaginary communities, to my cousins visiting from Lynn, who knew it was all bollocks, but grinned and said “Wow”, anyway.
The hill now has well-placed homes on each end. One of them has been here since the 1950s, built by a First Nations man, who reared three children here, with his Scots-Irish wife. There is an ecologically-pleasing home, slightly above it, on the hill.. On the northern end, another home or two sit, across from the Intermediate School, which thankfully looks a lot less like a prison than it did as a Middle School, built in the aftermath of the school fires of 1963.
All this reminiscing reminds me of just how interdependent we all are. What belonged to one, in the past, belongs to another now. What was a refuge to someone, decades ago, is a home to someone else today. Things like schools, hospitals, parks that were built by people of one generation may very well continue to serve their successors, without restriction based on some historical pride of place.
The other aspect of my current journey that enforces the notion of interdependence is the increasing awareness of geography, across humanity, and interest in visiting even the most remote communities. A recent visit to L’Anse aux Meadows, at the northern tip of Newfoundland, saw about ten other passenger cars and a busload of tourists, making their way around the seemingly bleak and windswept bogs (on boardwalks, of course) and gazing at snow-covered hills.
People who never saw those from other nations and cultures now routinely greet those from across the globe. People who could barely identify the major cities of their own state or province can now readily match countries on other continents, with their capitals and major cities. Thanks to more heterogeneous travel and immigration, regardless of cause, people in even the most insular communities are becoming familiar with those whose ethnicities’ names, ten years ago, they could barely pronounce.
When I was a kid, I was regarded as odd, for being so interested in people and cultures far afield from this little town, north of Boston. Nowadays, there are plenty of other people who could run circles around me, in terms of global awareness. I regard that as a good thing.