At the Old General Store
I had in mind an old-fashioned general store, at first seeing a layer of dust over everything, but no, the proprietor keeps things tidy and clean. It feels wholesome and solid in here. There’s a golden light in the air, and through the windows, the greens of summer. Leafy trees and children playing and a dog running and all that.
The shelves are full of hearty sundry, lots of wood and metal and no finger-cutting plastic packages. I want a postcard of this moment.
I might be in the world of “The Great Brain” books, although as a child reading of Tom and J.D.’s adventures, I imagined things to be dustier out in Adenville, Utah. But now that I’m here again — if that’s where this is, and I think it must be — I see it’s not that way.
It’s great to be back. I so loved being here as a child. I remember the comfort of reading one of the books on a dark winter evening in my childhood home, sitting on a rocking chair in the living room so warm and secure and far away in another place and time.
I want to go forward, as well, and read later chapters of our story. I want to live a hundred years from now. A thousand. What will the books say of the past, of the time we live in now? (Or will it all be multimedia? A term which will surely become as antiquated as “five and dime.”)
I don’t yearn for an earlier, “better” time. I yearn for all times, for all the story that is human history, what’s done and what’s to come. As much as I love technology and numbers, I think it’s the story of people that fascinates me most, even while my introversion has me so often avoiding them.
How do people get along? How do they live, laugh, and love?