thin veil over the magical kingdom
There’s a thin veil between the storybook version of “Mayberry” (my pretend name for Claiborne) and the harsh light of day.
An 18 year old young man was found dead on the side of the road yesterday morning, just 3 short miles from where I woke.
My neighbor saw his body under the white sheet the police used to cover him on the grass.
They say that his body may have been moved from one of Mayberry’s roads a mile away – a road I walked hundreds of times, cheerfully counting my blessings, watching birds, smelling the seasons, picking up trash.
It’s beyond shocking. My heart aches for his family, friends, for our entire community.
June is that time of year when bad things happen to young people. Car crashes usually, after graduation parties.
This one appears to be murder. In time, we may learn what happened. I doubt anyone could ever tell us why.
My (hometown sort of) newspaper columnist, Bill McClellan of the St. Louis Post Dispatch published a story yesterday called The Fragility of Magical Kingdoms, about current events at a City charter school, in which a beloved principal was ousted, despite the powerful pleading of the school community. The column was brilliant, and paints that school community as a magical kingdom that – like all magical kingdoms, was doomed to outside forces working against it.
McClellan’s column ends like this:
“The other lesson is the fragility of magical kingdoms. If you have been lucky enough to be in one, you know what I mean. They seem like they will go on forever. But the world is not hospitable to magical kingdoms. All sorts of forces are working against them. From the inside, you don’t see the end coming. But come it does.”
This morning, as I lay in bed and wonder about the hundreds of Talbot County neighbors waking to the nightmare of losing a beloved 18 year old, I can’t help but wonder about our magical kingdom.
The “land of pleasant living” isn’t, today.
Doomed to outside forces working against it? I hope not.
I’m still a believer.