|A Sense of Community
Monday, 21-Aug-2000 02:55:43
It dawned on me Sunday morning at the brunch what was making the reunion so special for me and (I would bet) many others who were able to attend: I had re-discovered a sense of community - of "belonging" to something with a lot of other people, something wonderful - which I had not felt since leaving Franconia in '74.
What really brought it all into focus - took me "home" - was Frannie playing his pipes on the hillside out back. I thought: "That man is carrying on a tradition that goes back centuries, to long before this nation even existed. And he has now carried us into that tradition with him - rooted us in history." And I was suddenly overwhelmed with a stream of images and other sensations from my days at Franconia - people, places, things, sounds, smells, and things I can't begin to describe. I found myself standing at the rail of the deck with my eyes closed and tears streaming down my cheeks. Overwhelmed - wonderfully so!
Also, earlier - when we were downstairs talking about what Franconia meant to us - a woman (who's name I didn't catch but wish I had)told us how she had, somewhat niavely she thought, written a speech when the college closed that included the line: "Franconia college will live so long as this old building stands." People chuckled, knowing she'd was both right and wrong, but no one said it, so I did: "Franconia is not a building of wood and nails. We are the building. And we still stand." Franconia will live as long as we do - and beyond, scattered across the globe in the smaller communities we will all have had an effect upon during our lives. And on society as a whole, which learned much from that which is Franconia - and continues to learn through us.
Forever is a long time. But one can hope...
Thank you to the organizers, and thank you to the many who attended, from the bottom of my heart, the core of my being, the heights of my spirit.
You are love and peace.
Alan "Sundance" Plante