Sunday, April 19, 2009

Almost Heaven

Almost Heaven...Dorchester, Mass...Blue Hill distant...Neponset Riiiiver. Life is old here...1630...younger than the puddingstone...Blowing like the breeze...Oh Dot Ave take me home...To the place where I belong...Codman Square...Hard working mothers...Oh Dot Ave...Take me home...

John Denver didn't pen these lines; I stole his idea and framework. A heartfelt paean to West Virginia can apply equally well to wherever you live if you change some words. Its all in the first two words that start this essay, courtesy of Mr. Denver. "Country Roads" can be tailored to the people of East Boston or Jamaica Plain or Charlestown or Hyde Park or wherever. If you live in a place you should love it.

If you live in a place you don't love you are an inhabitant, not a citizen. You aren't a neighbor, you are a face passing through, taking up space and adding little, paying rent to your landlord but not giving to the community. You don't enjoy your neighborhood and your indifference shows. Why live here? You spend your time elsewhere and aside from your rent checks, you spend your money elsewhere.

Dorchester may not be glamorous but it has its action. There are things to do and many hands make light work. Dorchester is in flux, the way any living neighborhood should be. It isn't a museum. It is a vibrant community. For the people who chose to make a life here, it is almost Heaven.

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