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Life

The Dying of the Light

After noticing dusk had fallen a few minutes ago I wandered into the garden to get the washing in, and was met by a wall of cold air. While unpegging clothes and folding them into the basket I listened to the birds singing their twilight song, and smiled at the huffing of a hedgehog somewhere in the undergrowth nearby.

There’s something tremendously peaceful about the dying of the light, and the effect it has on the world around us. Darkness seems to fall like a quiet blanket over the world, and everything in it. Well – everything except the teenagers listening to music in their car several streets away.

I imagine older people will be complaining to each other about the music – forgetting they were young once, and also forgetting that the reason they sit in their car is because previous generations have systematically opposed any and all provision for young people in the town.

When I first moved here – twenty years ago – there were plans in place to build a civic centre with a bowling alley, a cinema, a club, and so on. The town planners rejected it – instead allowing a developer to turn the site into luxury apartments that stood empty for years because nobody could afford them. There were also plans to build a sports arena – they too were rejected because house prices of senior members of the council would have been affected.

They say coffee shops are an indicator of wealth arriving in an area. A portent of sorts. There are at least five coffee shops in the centre of town now – all within a single scooter push of each other. A town where you can buy any variety of international coffee bean in a cardboard cup, and yet you can no longer buy a washing up bowl, a mug, or a kettle. It has nothing to do with the internet – it has everything to do with wealth, property owners, extortionate leaseholds, and greed.

I can’t help feeling the town is going the same way as a town I grew up near. When I was young it was a busy, thriving place filled with young families. By the time I left it had become a single road lined with antique shops and restaurants, and an almost entirely aged, retired community.

I wonder what causes people to lose sight of everything and everybody around them? What causes them to focus on their own aspirations above and beyond anything else? Will they ever realise that their wish for “a quiet life” eventually means no young families, no parks, no shops, no social gatherings, and the eventual destruction of the town they once knew and liked?

For what it’s worth, I have the windows open, and I’m playing music. Music that somebody, somewhere will probably be complaining about.

In other news, after dinner this evening I sat with my eldest daughter and watched the movie “Freedom Writers”. I’ve seen it before, and I’m now wondering if some movies systematically take us apart – ripping away a different piece of us each time we watch them. Each viewing becomes more difficult.

11 replies on “The Dying of the Light”

I’ve always thought a healthy community meant various people of various ages. Youth is vitality, growth and change. Sadly some people just get stuck in their rut and yell, “get off my lawn.”
😉

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I love people watching – especially teenagers in the park, figuring out how to talk to each other. The laughter and imagination of small children will always make me smile – it reminds me of when my daughters were little.

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Even though I don’t use our community pool and jacuzzi, I love to hear the happy sounds of people in them. When I open my door and let in the fresh air, their laughter floats up to me. On grey days, like this weekend, it’s much quieter. I prefer the happy socializing! From a distance…

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When my parents moved here (Cherokee Village, Arkansas, USA) in the 90’s, there were swimming pools, two miniature golf courses, a “Beach Club” that sponsored fish frys and live music, all kinds of stuff to do. Now the Beach Club, fish frys, and live music are long gone and there’s no money to maintain the pools or miniature golf so they all sit vacant and rotting away. Funny thing is they don’t tell the new people moving into the community so every now and then you see some new person post on the NextDoor app “Say! when do the pools and miniature golf open up? My grandkids are coming for the summer.” Surprise!!! Better buy the kids some kayaks. The lakes are still available.

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Very thought provoking. I know I take away different things when I rewatch/read something. And I’m having issues with our city planners at the moment for allowing so many new things to be built…it’s just too much

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The greed culture is very alive and real. It’s why the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer. I enjoy dusk, too, especially on a warm summer’s night. And playing music with the windows wide open sounds fun 🙂

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I’ve not heard that a coffee shop means a community has arrived, and yet I believe it. Rings true thinking about how this community has blossomed in the last few years. I enjoy hearing people noises around me, music, kids playing, neighbors stopping to talk with each other, dogs. I do sometimes wonder if residential builders have a clue about what they’re doing, other than making money.

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I love the lyrical writing at the beginning of this post, about the dying of the light and so on. I agree with everyone here, I like to hear life going on around me. I live in a townhouse, and right outside my window is our swimming pool. I’ve always enjoyed hearing kids laugh, sometimes teenagers with music and so on, while I sit here and work in my study (actually a corner of the bedroom, small townhouse). This last summer the pool was closed due to COVID and it was sad and quiet. I hope they are able to open this year, maybe some sort of a reservation system.

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