Op/Ed

Editorial: Of fun, song and flowers

ANGELO LYNN

Today’s front page photo of preschooler Lucy Bowdish skillfully navigating the recently opened Middlebury Pump Track speaks of an essential quality all thriving towns should have: many ways to spark joy. 

Providing accessible recreation for all age groups is one. The pump track is ideal for preschoolers and up, offering space for kids to learn new skills and develop a passion for active exercise otherwise disguised as fun. A skateboard park resonates for another group, just as pickleball, tennis and golf does for others. Each is equal and worthy.

Access to the arts is just as essential, and Middlebury is fortunate to have the Town Hall Theater as its cultural center. 

Last week and this, the Opera Company of Middlebury has presented Fidelio, Beethoven’s only opera based on a true story that is as tragically relevant today as it was in 1805 when he first wrote it. That a small company like OCM can put on such a complex opera with a 24-piece orchestra and draw amazing talent from throughout the nation is testament to the brilliance of the OCM management team and the whole-hearted support of the community. But the real brilliance is the rich talent of artists who plumb the depth of heartache and joy, of darkness and salvation, of tragedy and comedy, and bring it to life through song for audiences not just to enjoy, but to stir our emotions and re-awaken our souls as only opera can.

Which brings me to the simple joys of flowers. 

Even as dry as it has been, a stroll through downtown on Memorial Day weekend found the sidewalks resplendent with bouquets of color in window boxes, pots hanging from light posts, and bunches of flowers overflowing in sculpted gardens gone wild. The town crews, and garden club members, create wonders that brighten hearts and spread smiles just as wide and joyous as a pump track does for kids or an aria of requited love clutches an audience’s heart.

A town could do worse than to have as its mission even more ways to spark joy.

Angelo Lynn

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