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Enlightenment at Light Up

It was like stepping onto a movie set: a bright moon hanging in a clear sky, carols drifting from the bandstand and fireworks lighting up the night sky with brilliant color. A movie set right here in Harrison County on the grounds of the First State Capitol on the Corydon square. Santa appeared as if by magic, and, with a flick of his finger and a nod of his head, lights sparkled everywhere.
Now, add into this idyllic scene thousands of people all meeting and greeting as friends and family do, and we have ‘Light Up Corydon,’ the unofficial beginning of the holiday season.
I am the white-haired member of my family, and, during each year’s celebration, I get reacquainted with the friends who grew up with my children. They are there with kids of their own running about or being carried in arms. An annual reunion like this is a bit like a photo memory book, only better. My, the stories we retell and the common threads of understanding they invoke.
Some of my children’s friends look a bit more stout than they did when they played baseball together at ‘the Island’ playground. They’ve produced families, lost parents and changed jobs over the years, and hearing of their lives helps me keep the progression of my own life’s alterations in perspective. No wonder I keep asking others, ‘What did you say?’ My ears have been around a while.
In an era with change coming at revolutionary speed and people connecting in real time to everyone and every place in the world, we all want and need a place where we feel at home. We want and need a place we feel safe and accepted. We crave human touch, interaction and love. Community planners know that our towns, cities and neighborhoods need to have places and infrastructure that allow people to gather and share experiences that enable them to understand one another.
It is a wonderful progression of holidays we celebrate this time of year, from Thanksgiving to Christmas and Hanukkah to New Year’s. First, we stop to acknowledge all that we have going for us; second, we give thanks that we are not alone and a Supreme Being watches over us; and, third, we start once again anew with hope to do a better job in making our world work better.
As we look to the future of Southern Indiana, let’s consider today’s conditions, unite under a greater cause than our own wants and plan for growing communities that afford us real hometowns. No quick fixes exist; an infrastructure that accommodates all of us is complicated and interwoven. Every planning session is not like a happy movie set, and we don’t always see opportunities or needs the same. But thank goodness for places like the downtown square in Corydon where we can gather in freedom, look about us, see the crowd and say, ‘Let’s get along and get going.’

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