Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Power Down, Neighborliness Up

Princeton lost yet another veteran pin oak in my neighborhood last Saturday, in a blast of wind that arrived suddenly in late afternoon when heat had risen to 95 in the shade. The tree fell straight across Hamilton Avenue, taking the power lines and much of the neighborhood's power with it.

These power outages, as inconvenient as they are, have a way of bringing people together. Biking along the dark streets that evening, I came upon neighbors gathered in a driveway, seated in a circle as if in an outdoor living room. A few candles and the few stars daring to penetrate a New Jersey sky were all that was needed to illuminate their conversation. I stayed for awhile, glad for a chance to get to know neighbors who had until then, through all the powered, illuminated years, remained unseen.

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