Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Life in Donora

Settling down, in my mind I reviewed the last few festival days. Friday and Saturday were so hot that you begged for shade and Sunday ended the festival with a non stop rain.
My thoughts on the community was one that was stagnant, it was like a stroll through the past. No mass employment in the area, the community faces what so many before them have faced. Poverty,drugs and those struggling to get out and still more satisfied in the only world they know.
I saw people on a level that I had not witnessed in a long time, it reminded of the plight that low income neighborhoods fight on a daily basis.
Many of the people eager for conversation shared their thoughts and celebrated in the joining of neighbors. There were a few who hungered for the arts and appreciated the display of poetry and pictures. I had done what I promised the Lord I would reach out to people in all walks of life.
I saw many of the same problems I myself faced, many young mothers without drivers licenses and education struggling to raise their children.
It isn't possible to survive on a minimum wage job and even worse to raise a family on it. I see so many caught up in the system, with very few doors for them to open.
It was not a weekend of all gloom, I sensed in them a happy people who
warmly welcomed me into their community. Just as any festival there are a few people that sear a permanent picture in your mind. The few that stuck with me were for completely different reasons. The one couple was so happy and warm together that it was refreshing to converse with them, to the complete opposite, a couple where I felt an extreme control of one partner over the other. Then one young women, she was twenty one years old and over coming her disability or at least living despite it.
She read outloud the words in my book, I like that she said, I like it allot, for her she saw the words of inspiration. As she read the notation I made in the book for her she smiled, talked of her boyfriend and her own personal struggles.
I knew that I had been in hiding for many a years, some of it do to circumstances and others maybe to my own time of healing. The place wI chose to call home for twelve years was and isolation from the community at large. The rural area can do that to you, the trees dance in the wind as you wake to the symphony of birds and animals that greet you with the joy of life. It was as if the world and the people in it were locked away beyond the trees of the mountains.
The weekend gave me a greater appreciation for life.

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