We have two seasons in my area: Winter season and construction season. With the latest push to fix outdated and crumbling infrastructure, the roads and bridges in this area are all fair game for demolition and renewal.
Temporary road closures, traffic delays and detours are painful now but better for the future. New, wider, safer bridges replace old rusting, decaying relics. Work on the old is necessary to upgrade to better foundations and overlying structures. While the old roadbed remains, everything from the ground up is new and improved.
As I drive through construction zones, I think about the roadbeds. I live in an older part of the land where a goat path turned into a cow path which turned into a footpath. Footpaths eventually transitioned to wagon tracks and, as time moved on, dirt roads. With progress came paving…and potholes…and more paving. And more potholes.
In some places, old roadbeds were rerouted to new bypasses. The volume of traffic traveling through small towns became a burden on the road system. Bypasses were built to solve problems.
Was it ever on the radar that bypasses would kill Small Town America?
The diners and gas stations and general stores all died off when the new and better traffic patterns took potential customers out of the loop. Towns were sacrificed for speed and convenience.
And here we are today with a similar sacrifice.
We treat our relationships like old roads. Instead of working to repair and repave and upgrade our existing emotional links, we bypass people we see as being unworthy of our love and attention and search out new, easier, speedier people to love.
And yet, those new emotional roads are subject to the same wear and tear as our old ones. The new and shiny never remains as such. Everything ages, everything tarnishes, everything needs construction eventually.
The choice we have is to put in a bit of maintenance on a daily basis and tend to our roads before they get too bad or blow up our bridges completely. No matter which course we choose now, our roads (new or old) will eventually have to be maintained.