Far Away But Right Here

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“The connections we make in life…maybe that’s what Heaven is.”

–  Fred Rogers (1928 – 2003), minister, philosopher and host of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood

A couple weeks before my high school graduation, on May 18, 1980, Mt. St. Helens erupted.  The news coverage was spectacular, even for the time and our attention was drawn to this thing 1,953 miles away.  Within a few days, we noticed a film of dust on our cars and on the leaves of the trees in Fairfield, IA.  It was ash from the eruption.  1,953 miles away.

The sunrises and sunsets here in the Midwest, as well as the moon rises and moon sets, have been a spectacular variety of red-hued wonder for the last several weeks, a distraction from the super-hot days of summer in corn country.  The red tones are caused by the smoke from a distant fire, to quote the Sanford-Townsend Band, circa 1977.  The Western wildfires are 2,000ish miles away, yet the smoke is here, now.

We are more connected than we’ve ever been in some ways.  Yet we’re less connected than we’d like to be in others.

Make a list.

Who are the connections that have drifted off yet are worth re-establishing?  Who are the connections that are closest, but that we might be neglecting?  Who are the connections we’ve longed to make, but have stopped short of making?

Distance matters less than ever, or maybe we’ve always been connected more than we realize – no matter the miles.

In this age of uber-connection but hard-to-find depth of connection, why not now?  Pick up the phone.  Pick up the pen and a notecard.

Thank someone, remind someone of a time when they helped you.  Send an old picture, or a funny text.  If volcanic ash can find it’s way to wherever it wants to be — we can, too.  And we ought to do it.


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