Poet’s Corner: A Community That Lifts Up Its Children in Odes of Joy

I once read a historian who said that a civilization will be remembered by how it loved its children. One of the most noticeable attributes of the Town is that it is clearly a loving community to its children. Through schools, religious organizations, community members, families…they come first. Through vast arrays of events, programs, curricula and more the children are the true centerpieces. It is the wisest of investments having been passed down almost two-hundred years ago…and it carries on the same today.

The children are raised up high here, being counterparts of our affections,

Conceived and nurtured with great expectations filled in love’s overflow,

From the very beginning, we were there, and remained there,

Fitted together with them in bonds that cement our souls, now and forevermore,

A community of guardian angels – parents with hearts of joy unspeakable,

teachers purposed to the gentle tasks of artisan work that paints smiles upon faces,

molding them for the paths they are to follow, to be readied, to be strong,

clergies that reach into the midst of eternities, that preview the coming wonders that will herald their true worth;

officers of law and fighters of fire, steeled in duty’s call keeping them safe; elected ones that override partisan hearts and agendas, setting a child before all eyes, governing only good.

Events, programs, and activities abound resonating deep into every fiber of town life: in cozy teddy-bear story times, marching magical creature parades, laughing at the puppet shows, competing in a Rocking Road Race, being a little frightened at the Halloween Fair, getting close and snuggling with furry friends at the zoomobile, acting out your dreams at a drama workshop, gazing in wonder at a tree lighting that brings peace, stand proudly and wave on Flag Day, dance to the tunes of a wandering minstrel and summer concerts that rock, dress up your pumpkin friends for all to see, get to make some new friends in a toddler playgroup, find those elusive colored eggs hiding in the grass, feast on rows of pancakes all over the place, hang on for the rides of daring at the Great Carnival, win stuffed animal treasures in games of chance, learn from masters techniques in art colonies, lose yourself in the rhythms of song at the dances, and come on home to a Country Fair unlike any other, where you make lifetime friends of brown rabbits, pink piglets, gentle ponies, and everlasting proud traditions.

Behold a Town that knows the children are a once in a lifetime experience, blink of an eye, hourglasses of great worth, held in such fragility on the edge of our fingertips, measured in days numbered, that in nature’s vein will one day become one of us. They are the sacred treasures to hold tightly, gifts bestowed upon us one day at a time, awarding us the blessing of a caretaker’s worth, of heart’s sweet assurance of a labor of love well done… Behold a Town of investments, wise in the high stakes of the tender destinies of its own children, in the realities of their futures fated to rise or fall, as a flower would, either in bloom or as a thing wilted.

How will the children see us? Having minds of perception and goodness and love where we are welcomed harbors in their eyes and sailing ships of safe voyage? In this community…they will.

John Ulatowski has published several books of photographic images.