Sunday Night: Birds on the wire

Like the birds on the wire, the young people in our communities are gathering.

I hate to see those original twitterers lined up on the power lines as it signals the end of summer and I really hate to see the end of summer, this one especially.

It’s been beautiful here in East Central Minnesota. The weather has been, for the most part, good, although quite hot for a spell.

But the opposite can be much more dreadful. Remember those 25 below zero days?

We had enough rain to avoid the severe drought other areas of our state suffered. Our crops look fairly good.

We’ve had no disastrous weather events like the July 1 and Aug. 2 storms of last summer that ravaged our communities and took out many fine, old trees and left residents scrambling for chain saws and generators.

I like that the roads have been good and dry and getting to work or assignments has not been a problem.

That doesn’t always happen on the other end of the year; a heavy fog on my windshield this morning reminded me of that.

But I think the young people, whether they will admit it or not, like the birds coming together for the next phase of their lives, are ready to get back to school.

They are gathering at Central Park, they are gathering in the empty parking lot by the vacant building next door to work, they are walking in bigger groups down the street. They are gathering at the beach, and not so much for swimming.

Their gathering can even lead to mischief at this time of year, because it seems they just don’t know what to do with themselves any more.

Lazy days of summer are not as appreciated today as they were several decades ago.

We’ve become so mobile, so instantaneous, so “right now,” that it’s really hard to lay in a hammock or in the cool grass and just stare off into space.

It’s like we have to always be doing something, going somewhere, being with someone.

The cell phone has a lot to do with it, I presume. We tote friends and family with us everywhere in the palm of our hands. And when we’re not on the phone, talking or texting, we’re posting on Facebook or Pinterest or whatever.

We just have to be in each other’s faces, all the time.

So quiet summer days soon grow old and the young people get antsy.

The symmetry of our feathered friends aligned on a wire is a somber thing, marking the end of summer.

But the gathering of the youngsters might be a sign that a communication device just won’t cut it anymore, there is a need to be face-to face with other young people. It’s the nature of the human being.

And whether its birds flying away for a season, or kids going back to school – it’s all just time moving on.

— MaryHelen Swanson is editor of the ECM Post Review 

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