Sunday, October 21, 2012

Ines and Basil

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . hearing Anna laugh with delight when Daddy got her out of bed this morning.

. . . finally managing to get some basil out of my garden and into my kitchen.  It was very tasty in a grilled turkey sandwich.

. . . talking with Phillip about our family, music, and random silliness.

And another thing . . .

. . . this afternoon I found myself thinking over and over about the Fair Ines number from last night's concert.  It's based on a poem by Thomas Hood (1799-1845) about a maiden traveling across the sea to marry her sweetheart.  The loved ones she leaves behind rejoice for her, but are also brokenhearted to think they will never see her again.

As I reflected on the poem's story, my initial thought was "What's the big deal?  She's just leaving to get married and start a family in a distant place--people do that all the time."  Then I remembered that separation from loved ones was very different 200 years ago.

Nowadays when someone moves away they can still hop in a car or a plane to come back for holidays, weddings, funerals, etc., and in the meantime you have email, Facebook, blogs, and (heaven help us) Twitter and Instagram to keep you apprised of the minute, ongoing details of their lives.  Two centuries ago, if someone sailed away to a different land they might as well have dropped off the face of the earth because you would probably never see or hear from them again.  If that relative or friend happened to be the light of your life, I can see how it would be devastating to have them leave.

On the one hand, I've very grateful to live in an age when we can visit distant loved ones and stay connected so easily.  On the other hand, I feel like we're losing the art of connecting face-to-face with people in our own communities.  I'm not sure whether that is an unintended side effect of the internet age, or if it's just my own experience as an introverted mom of young children.

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