Sometimes it’s a personal tragedy, like the death of a friend or family member and sometimes its global tragedy. When the world goes crazy, I just want to retreat to my little haven. My tiny little town on the coast of Maine. Am I hiding from reality?
I believe in the old saying that if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. But, it seems these days that no one can agree on a solution. My Facebook feed is endless – filled with conflicting idealisms (and it seems pretty much split 50/50 among my friends). Do we, as Americans (as humans), welcome refugees? Do we shelter close and protect our citizens from terrorists who may be lurking among the true refugees? Frankly, I don’t see how anyone really has the correct answer – I doubt that any of us knows the real details about the issues – it’s impossible with the bias of today’s media.
With so much turmoil in the world, I find myself wishing I could be at my Maine cottage full-time.
It makes it so easy to forget about the turmoil going on outside – I don’t have a front and center television so it takes a deliberate effort to get details of the day’s or week’s events. Instead I watch the current of the river; I see what the tide carries in and then back out again. I watch the eagles and the deer and the foraging porcupine. I go to Jasper Beach and listen to the music of the tide upon the rocks. I feel protected, as though the small town is there to cushion against the outside trials of the world.
Spending time in the Netherlands, in college, just a few miles from the border with Germany, I lived close to the history of WWII. The landscape still showed the scars of war, even 40 years later. I remember riding my bicycle across the border into Germany and wonder if there had been battles fought on the roadsides, imaging the horror that must have befallen the little village where I would purchase my pastry and coffee. A little village – an insignificant town – where one would think that particular little corner of the world was safe. How many little towns and villages throughout Europe felt safe during the beginnings of war?
There is safety in a small town – a cocoon that protects, or, at least, like the small village in Germany, gives an illusion of protection. Because, as we know, tragedy can strike anywhere and everywhere.