Community column: Ode to two wreaths in an empty storefront
An ode for all readers, look here, if you may
On this, let’s call it the Second Winter Day
If reading now, we survived Mayan scare,
If not, we’re at peace, without a care.
But I’ll wager a bet that Time has marched on
And the faithful are here to witness this song
Of two wreaths and their tale
Which hold forth and regale
Of virtues thought thrown to the winds
Of community, caring, and hope
Community, caring, and hope
Virtues once cast to the wind.
Maybe it was mostly the curiosity
That first caught my eye, the incongruity.
Two giant wreaths looked out to the street
In windows of a building empty, yet neat.
And these are not plain, oh, no ordinary rings,
The adornment, the frou-frou, the sparkle, the bling!
They shimmer by day, and yes, even at night,
They brighten the block, awash in spot light.
To describe them would be but a meager charade,
The closest you’ll come—think big, bold parade.
Bright orbs, dancing snowflakes, a crèche, candy canes,
Nutcrackers, gilt angels, snow globes, choo-choo trains,
The stars how they shimmer and set off the holly,
A Santa peers right at you looking dapper and jolly.
I smile just to see them, so bounteous and bright.
The maker was dedicated to this: sheer delight.
Always the one with inquiring mind
I picked up the phone to question, to find
The reason and source of this holiday pleasure.
Who had assembled this interesting treasure?
Why put them here in this empty storefront?
And since I was verging on nosey and blunt,
I pressed my source to share all
Pushed for motive, and mission, total recall.
“There’s really not much to it,” says this humble man.
His sister-in-law gets credit for most of the plan.
She fabricates beauty from collections of yore
Old ornaments, used ribbons, cast-aside décor.
The thrifty me lauded the imaginative ruse.
She’s not only an artist, she loves to re-use!
The aesthetic is classic, the approach, sublime.
Things once forgotten, adored a second time.
But there’s more to the tale than just decoration,
The owner elaborated with pure admiration,
“Last year, we didn’t hang them,” for all to see.
“People noticed. They wondered. They telephoned me.”
It’s true, in this town here, we care for another,
Like family we connect, as sister, or brother.
When something is missing, something so grand.
People observe and inquire: Can we lend a hand?
A last thought to mention and ponder a bit,
It’s the place or the structure where these wreaths sit.
An edifice noble is receiving new life.
A small pause in progress from world fiscal strife.
But the work will go on as good times emerge
We’re past it, we trust, just on the verge
Of a full recovery and return to better days.
We look forward and onward in different ways.
Let’s all remember the wisdom of Main Street
Where neighbor-to-neighbor we create and we greet.
Resources are saved when we choose to preserve
Without this approach, our plight we deserve
A cycle of sharing, the wreaths are our token
We shine and we thrive, when the circle’s unbroken.
Our heroes are people who prescribe the way:
Invest local, applaud frugal, and forward you’ll pay.
From two wreaths and their story
Holding forth on the glory
Of virtues not thrown to the wind
Community, caring, and hope.
Kind readers, forgive me, but the subject matter begged for unique treatment. The ode, a somewhat antiquated lyrical poem form, echoes the rhyming schemes we hear throughout the holiday season. A.C. Wilson, a Radford native, has been responsible for numerous important renovations in town. We anticipate completion of this current rehabilitation — 337 W. Main St. — a prominent three-story structure in the center of town. Find them on Facebook at Treasure Wreaths. Dillard Carter is the inventive artist responsible for the wreaths. Happiest of holidays to all!
By Catherine Van Noy
Special to The Burgs | 639-3330