There was an accident here in town yesterday and it has got me to thinking. Bob, the fellow who runs the dump and does the maintenance at our little school took a serious fall and is now on the neurological observation ward. He had a serious concussion and a small bleed on his brain. The town has, of course, rallied. Bruce and Jackie drove up to his house last night to feed his animals. Another neighbor is caring for his elderly mother so his dad will be free to be at the hospital. Meals are appearing in the fridge (Few around here lock their doors. If they did, how would people get in?). Bruce moved Bob’s truck form the school. (The keys were in the ignition. They always are.) There are folks lined up to check in on him once he returns home. He won’t have to worry about anything.

The thing is that Bob is a crotchety old thing. He can be cranky and ornery if you don’t sort your recyclables right and don’t even think about parking in the fire lane at school, even for a quick pick-up. He’ll chew you out, even if you’re the superintendent of schools. But that doesn’t matter. If you live around here, you’re family. It helps to have lived here a while (2 generations is good, three even better) but even a newcomer in trouble will get whatever help is needed in a crisis. It is part of the reason that small towns are the place to be in tough times.

I read a lot of preparedness blogs. Some of the more hard-core advocate the isolated, well-armed retreat and in a paranoid period, I understand the concept. It just won’t work well in the real world. It take a village to raise not just children but each other. A village makes it possible for my mildly retarded youngest daughter to ride her bike with the rest of the kids on the street.  There is always someone out to keep an eye on them and if eyes are off for a minute, well not much is likely to wrong in spite of what television tries to scare you into believing.  A village allows the local eccentric to live at home. We all keep an eye on him.

The world is getting smaller. Our village is already there. In some ways, we live in post-petroleum world already. On a day like this, I know that’s a very good thing.