Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I was using Google Maps this morning to find the location and direction to a family thing being held in another state, on the weekend next.

Alongside of the directions, there was the full, continental US map image.  Except for the tolls and the likelihood of encountering road construction, it looks like a nice and easy trip.

I grabbed the little zoom bar and pulled it all the way down so that I could see the whole world.  I swear, that image never fails to thrill me right down to my core.  That teeny place marker, that infinitesimal point where I will be spending a couple of hours on the road, well, it just floors me.

A space on my screen that a gently expanded hand-width covers and I have touched the entire planet.  Rotate my hand approximately 20 degrees and I could hold it in my palm.  It makes me think of how delicate, how fragile and wondrous it is, this place we call home.

Sure, it enthuses me to take care of it.  More than that, it helps me revisit my commitment to making my part of it, that tiny bit at the point of the marker, a better place.  Small things salve my emotions, fuel my desires and make make my behaviors worth performing them.  My tininess reminds me of my connection to every other person, every other living thing.  I am humbled by the shared responsibilities and shames me for my pitiful efforts.

On that map, I am an invisible speck beneath uncounted specks. 

Oh, and I might have lost a friend today.  If it happens, it will make me sad beyond my ability to express how truly sad I will be.  Sometimes friends have to take that risk with each other.  But, I will still be sad.

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