I have many memories, too many to count, of driving the winding roads of Warwick with my grandparents. Many if not all of these roads, now paved. Beautiful tree lined avenues canopying, the entrance and exit ways of our beautiful village.
I think what most of us can relate to, is how Don Henley puts it, this is “the same small town in each of us.” The slower pace of the way it used to be. A simpler time.
Every day, change is inevitable. True… nothing can ever be what it once was. But, we can preserve the historic elements, the nuisances that make the small towns in our hearts in some way, eternal.
When I was a sprig here in Warwick, my grandmother and grandfather often spoke to us about the importance of preservation and the immortal narratives of our ancestors through stories, songs and what’s left of tattered photographs and letters.
At that time, people waved and spoke to everyone they met. Kids were out and about everywhere. And shop owners all throughout the village watched out for your children. A time of after school and summer baseball games in your neighbor’s field, tag in the woods, fort building and riding trails etc. Tractors drove daily through our town where everyone yielded and pulled over for each waving farmer and school bus.
How does this all pertain to a large ancient rock in the middle of an old farm field? Because it’s the symbolic representation of our history. It’s a natural monument in a landscape full of memory. You cannot build a motel around it and call it The Pulpit Inn because that’s not what it ever represented.
And it’s not just the rock, but the field that also surrounds it. The green spaces that serve as entrance ways to our community home are essential to this historic village. And the voices and hearts of the people who were born here or who have chosen to live here because of it.
My grandparents often spoke of picnics near the rock and my great-great grandfather Ezra Sanford did “sermons on the mount” from “the Pulpit.”
To this day, in the Spring light, you can see the daffodils that bloom around Pulpit Rock. My grandmother helped to plant them there… not just for her own generation, but for future generations that she would never live long enough to know… to enjoy. Isn’t this what it’s all about? Preserving for the next generation and so forth?
We cannot ignore the enormous significance of simple, beautiful green spaces. This is the eternal gift we pass forward to our children.
To old timers. To new timers. To the hundreds of children who daily pass by, on foot, by bus or car to and from three neighboring schools. To all those who have, will or do call Warwick home.