You don't have to be a professional writer to appreciate the poetry of symbolism all around us. And it seems difficult to imagine a time in contemporary history more appropriate to look for deeper meaning in the reality around us than the COVID-19 era
You don’t have to be a professional writer to appreciate the poetry of symbolism all around us. And it seems difficult to imagine a time in contemporary history more appropriate to look for deeper meaning in the reality around us than the COVID-19 era we’re currently residing in.
So there’s something almost magical and definitely hopeful about the simple fact that there are people planning for events in the not so distant future. And not another Zoom-based virtual event where you spend 75 percent of the thing staring at yourself and not paying attention to what’s going on – but actual, real life outside events, complete with other people around; you know, like the old days?
It’s thanks to people like those who make up the Gaspee Days Committee that we have this hope, and something to look forward to rather than dread. Few things around here symbolize summer, togetherness and, ultimately, freedom like Gaspee Days does. To not have such a storied tradition go on last year was, like all traditions we missed out on last year, a true loss for the community and all those who hold cherished memories of the event throughout its history.
It’s poetic that, as the weather mercifully warms up outside and our minds start to allow ourselves to imagine a life spent without being bundled up in heavy coats, the slow but constant acceleration of vaccinations in the state are likewise allowing our minds to imagine a life spent not under the constant threatening cloud of a deadly virus looming above our heads. It serves as a reminder of how simultaneously long we have been under these conditions, but also how frenzied the past year has been and how rapidly it has gone by – much like a fever dream.
We will certainly never take for granted our local traditions after this moment in time has passed. Things like Gaspee Days, the Warwick Neck Parade, car shows at Oakland Beach, concerts at Garden City or any number of PTA-driven fundraisers at our local schools – and all events elsewhere in Rhode Island like Bristol’s Fourth of July Parade, Newport’s music festivals or any of our numerous fall festivals – these are the things that make our communities special, and they not only bring us together as a state, but as human beings seeking connections and moments worth remembering.
Perhaps this is another positive that can come out of the pandemic, despite all the suffering and devastation it has caused. Keeping firmly in mind how temporary and possibly fleeting our ability to gather together can be, we should never again forget how valuable our local planning committees, organizers and event volunteers are to making our zip codes a proper home, and a proper community. Perhaps seeing how much we have missed being able to enjoy one another’s company will encourage us to embrace one another a little more readily and find renewed joy in the little, traditional things in life once more.
Thanks to all of those out there who have given us reason to persevere through this dark moment in history and given us hope that there is light and warmth ahead. We’ll see you out in the community soon, mark our words!