Originally Published 08/29/2011
Photo Source: Jessica Beebe
My walks always carry the feel of what was. In this small coastal New England village, it’s not difficult to find vestiges of the past. The bank clock, the Rexall, the brass of the soda fountain, salt water taffy and ice cream parlors and the absence of suburban chain sprawl speak to me, and I am united with my ancestors, blood and spiritual, in more simple times.
I walk the village green and hear Sousa marches. I walk the main street and see the great cars of America’s past cruising by. I walk down to the bay, breathing in the salt air, the flower beds, the freshly mowed grass, and I imagine captains of great schooners and lobstermen making the same walk to their working days. I walk with these ghosts and imagine what their reactions would be to our wireless computers and hi-definition televisions and restaurants and all the ways we are bombarded with choices.
I live in and walk through the present, and I don’t think that a rotary telephone on a three party line is superior to a cellphone, nor an Underwood typewriter superior to a laptop, just because they’re old. Still, times past, uncluttered and uncomplicated, call to me and inspire my walks, my dreams of disconnecting and unplugging and having less to keep up with.