“When humans participate in ceremony, they enter a sacred space. Everything outside of that space shrivels in importance. Time takes on a different dimension. Emotions flow more freely. The bodies of participants become filled with the energy of life, and this energy reaches out and blesses the creation around them. All is made new; everything becomes sacred.”
~ Sun Bear
Today was the annual Pickin’ in the Park at Cannel City’s DeLancey Park. The center piece in what remains of the town is the old WPA school. Dad attended school here for a bit. I attended the forth grade after the county rezoned districts. You can see a picture of the school’s original outside here.
I played many a game on this old slate riddled field in front of this backstop. I remember well playing nurse to Ron Gevedon and Larry Evans’ battlefield wounds. I loved those boys so much. They were always my favorite playmates. I got to see Ronnie today at the picnic. He works hard to keep Cannel City’s memory alive. I ignored the “do not cross” line to get closer to the old school. I was able to reach the camera up to the window of my old forth grade classroom. The chalkboard still hangs on the wall. They held a going away party for me at the end of the year as we were moving to Tucson. For a minute I could see us all gathered around Mrs. Reed’s wooden desk eating cake and laughing and posing for pictures that I still have.
My trip down memory lane was interrupted by a man asking me to step back behind the caution tape. I just looked at him as I did so. He probably owns the old school now. I heard him say they’re trying to clean it up. The fact is that it would take a village to repair the old gal. She has sat vacant so long now that pulling weeds alone won’t fix much. The inside is, of course, thick with asbestos, making remodeling a challenge by any measure. I would love to see her returned to her former glory; a multitude of windows with pristine wooden floors and a basketball court fit for kings. What a beautiful thing that would be. But there’s a certain beauty in decay. Age graces us all, human and building alike. Our lines become deeper, our colors weathered and mute. There is beauty here. I wish I could have gained entry to see more of it.