The year is winding down and within all of us remain the children we once were who still anticipate Christmas. Based on comments you have left on this blog, Christmas memories are some of your favorite when remembering Main Street Rocky Mount; a downtown where everyone enjoyed the decorations, the shopping, and greeted each other with a heartfelt Merry Christmas.
Christmas is surely one of the most nostalgic times of the year. I can close my eyes and return to my room in the house on the corner of Asbury Avenue and Lyons street in Evanston, IL. There I sit on the radiator cover my father built looking out the large double-hung windows at the snow that flutters down, the streetlamps casting a magical glow. One side of the elm trees that cascade over Asbury Ave is dark and wet, the other white with snow sticking to the bark. The snow that is slowly piling on a branch finally tumbles to the ground with one flake too many, leaving holes in the crusted snow. Whether it really snowed every Christmas Eve, I can’t be sure, but in remembering, why not?
When it comes time to think of the year ahead, having counted our blessings, and recognized anew our loved ones, let’s do something significant that influences the preservation and restoration of Main Street. Breaking the task further down, if you live in one of our historic neighborhoods, here is what I suggest. Concentrate on your neighborhood organization. You may have given up on the group, feel irritated because it became nothing more than a gripe session; please talk to your neighbors and take it on. Help reorganize it so it becomes a proactive voice for your neighborhood’s needs. Walk the neighborhood and take some notes. What’s sitting empty, what may be unsavable, what complaints need to be lodged with landlords that aren’t caring for their properties. Just taking this on for one another, is a huge step. We can no longer sit on our hands waiting for promises to come true that don’t. We all want the same thing – safe and sound places to live. These associations are in place and can be renewed and revitalized: a large voice for preservation, restoration, and pride.
As Advent continues, we recognize that we are the innkeepers who must make room in our hearts and minds for this Christ child who is born anew within us. The blessings of the Season to you and yours. I thank you for keeping me company on Main Street. Consider yourselves hugged and appreciated. Think of Stepheny as I sit on a bench downtown clapping my hands because I do believe in possibilities. I believe that we can have a beautiful Main Street anew and safe neighborhoods shining with Christmas lights.
Wishing you a heartfelt Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.