Something happened this week in my community, in my back yard. It was powerful.

Many of you may have seen the story about the 5 year old autistic boy who wandered away from his home in Oak Grove Township, east of Prescott Wisconsin. This unfortunate event happened in my community, basically in my back yard. As fortune would have it, Scotty, the young boy, wandered away over the 4th of July holiday during the searing heat mid-day, shirtless and innocent. Scotty spent over 20 hours wandering the corn fields, rolling grasslands and woods overlooking the flow of the swollen Mississippi river. The 20 hours included an uncomfortable overnight in the bush. The story ended as everyone had hoped. Scotty was found the next morning, mosquito bitten, dehydrated and frightened, but otherwise in good shape. It was a feel good story and the media handled it well. The striking thing to me was the power of the effort. The selfless  joining of a community .

From Wikipedia

The term community has two distinct meanings: 1) A group of interacting people, living in some proximity (i.e., in space, time, or relationship). Community usually refers to a social unit larger than a household that shares common values and has social cohesion. 2) in biology, a community is a group of interacting living organisms sharing a populated environment. A community is a group or society, helping each other.

Kare11 Report

This community is in transition. It is made up of those who remain in agriculture, the last of the family farms. It is made up of the businessman and women who have moved from the city to find space and can work from home. There are those who live here who purely enjoy the beauty of the woods and the water and can find work to support this choice. The hobby farmer and the shop owner and the veterans of wars live in this community, all looking for a lifestyle that previous generations have told stories about and instilled in their hearts.  I imagine half the residents have moved here and half are from here. It is only a feeling from my dozen years of involvement with my community and I have no data to substantiate it.  Many times both are leery of each other’s intentions. The blinders are on and the red flags go up. As I watched the eyes and the body language of the participants in this search there was no hint of mistrust. There was only faith in each other to achieve the goal.

There were farm kids and 4 wheelers, horses and handy men. The doctors and the donut makers were walking side by side with a oneness that allowed every walk of life to feel the same pride in cause. There were people in shorts and t-shirts that were oblivious to the rigors of searching the dynamic terrain. The retired showed up with their grand children. There were more pickup trucks parked next to beamers than I had ever seen before. There was no income gap, no gender discrimination, no ponzi schemes and no stock market, there was only community. There was no I, I, I, Me, Me, Me or deception, there was only WE. A chance even under the most extreme conditions to help each other. To be one. To be responsible for the whole. Where it came from I don’t know. I have been told time and time again that this kind of Utopian thought process was not possible. Maybe, “WE The People” is still out there. I think  I saw a glimpse of it.

The dog that eventually found Scotty was named Autum, a somewhat overweight golden retriever. Her owner was a guy in a chewed up old Nike hat that, along with his wife, had two young kids of their own. He was emotional, as we all were, to know the search was over. He had traveled from the other side of the county to help with the search. Every person who was in the field and forest searching, on the bus anticipating, at the High School signing in to help, as well as the administrators of this massive effort, and  Scotty’s parents and relatives could feel the power

It is no secret that a feeling resonates among the national community that we are divided both politically and economically  on many complicated issues. I think we all are losing hope that even the smallest of smallest of goals can be accomplished. I saw this week what is possible when we strip away a bit of our own importance to help someone else. It was wee bit of sparkle, pop and hope that showed through the rockets red glare on our nation’s birthday. Scotty you’re my hero. I am proud of my community.