|From Stony Man Mountain, Shenandoah NP|
One of the (many) books I read this summer was One Man's Meat, a collection of short essays by E. B. White. Many of the essays focus on the difference between living in the City (New York, of course) and a small Maine farm. In one, White laments the collapse of his insulated world affected by switching on the radio and hearing the weather report for a town in another state. Travelling far and fast as we do produces something like the same effect, I think. We fling ourselves far and wide (whether literally or digitally) and are distracted from engagement in our immediate surroundings. My heart feels stretched and sometimes torn between the places and people I've loved.
|From Miller's Head, Shenandoah NP|
All the same, the remedy for this loss cannot be simply to stay home. It cannot be going back to the way things were before we could travel far and wide, and hear the weather report for someplace on the other side of the world. Time and humanity only move forward; we have no choice. The answer is somewhere up ahead, then, in some combination of our learning from the past and innovation of the future. So travel, experience, learn, grow, create your culture, lose what you must, gain what you can, be present where you are, and above all, love.