I live in a small town. It is a town very similar to the town where I spent the later years of my childhood. Like the town I lived in as a kid, very little changes, and when it does change, it changes slow. In many ways both towns resemble a much better time. Yet, they are not museums, time takes it's vengeance. Changes come. Form is not substance.
Change comes quicker today than yesterday, and yesterday more immediately than the day before. The changes that come today, come both quicker are harsher and are more corrosive than those that preceded. My wife and I sometimes liken our world-as-is to retreat in a long battle. Sometimes retreat is necessary to save what is left to save, yet it is a retreat and eventually the territory may run out, and there may be nowhere left to retreat to.
That day will come, of this I am sure. It may come later here, but it will arrive. There will come a day when there is nowhere left to retreat. This is not defeatism. There is a time for retreat, and a time for outward facing. There is a time for everything - [Loosely Kohelet]. It is an acknowledgement of reality that retreat can only be temporary and one day there will be nowhere left to retreat. Until that day arrives, in the meantime, we can live lives of dignity, beauty and virtue where it is still possible.