Growing up, I remember when a neighbor and my Mother would trade a cup of flour when needed. If someone ran short, the other person was there. Maybe, it was the neighborly atmosphere that existed in small towns like Glen Allan, Mississippi. Perhaps, it was a way of life then. I cannot put my fingers on it, but I miss the atmospheric flavor that it exuded. Sure that cup of flour enhanced the mouth watering taste of my Aunt Sudie’s biscuits that she shaped not with a biscuit cutter, but with her hands. Or maybe that cup of flour rounded out the ingredients in Miss Laura’s finger licking good pound cake. All of that was true with their flavor enhanced recipes, but that cup of flour was more than what it appeared. The flour epitomized the essence of sharing. There was a camaraderie and a dependence of knowing that your neighbor would be there for you in a time of need; personally and financially. Helping each other was the name of the game. It is an ingredient that is sorely missing today. Sure, the big city took away some of the closeness. Many of us don’t even know our neighbors’ names. How tragic! Gone and removed are the comfort zones as we grew away from the hands that worked together; from the hands that cultivated a spirit of unity and reciprocity. Instead, we put up fences and barricades of impediments that multiplied as time passed by. Ironically, whether we admit it or not, as the price of flour went up, so did our need for each other; a need, a dependence, a love that gradually faded in the sunset. We somehow managed to take away that loving feeling that I wish we could put back! The call of action today is to extend our hands carrying a sack of flour because a cup just won’t do! It’s the neighborly thing to do whether we live next door or not!
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