Went to the polls this morning to vote on local roles to be filled (selectman, planning board, etc.) and to approve a charter commission and the first 9 commissioners. One stretch of sidewalk outside the high school, at the edge of the legal standoff from the doors to the gym where the polling takes place, is lined with the candidates and their supporters holding signs, shaking hands and handing out leaflets.
For some a gauntlet they dread enough to not vote at all, for my wife and I it is a welcome reminder of the fabric we have created here in Sharon, MA. We stop at almost every sign, suporter and candidate, to hug, catch up on life, share stories, reconnect and generally bask in the glow of active community building. It’s such a unique and satisfying experience, I almost wish there were more elections per year for such interaction. And we will be back tonight just before the polls close to hear the Town Clerk read the results, celebrate the victories, and console and encourage those less successful.
Amazing to me how many live in this town, and thousands like it across America, who have never experienced such community, much less understood or appreciated its value. They pay for it in so many ways. And don’t get me started on why small Italian hill towns are more stable and healthy than many American towns because they come together in the square routinely to keep in touch.