It is evening.
We live in such an international world these days. I received a text and picture from a cousin in Sweden. The picture was her daughter on a well-known hiking trail in Norway. A friend here in Glendive has family in Norway and her sister had just been to the exact same place. We compared pictures and sure enough. Small world.
That whole idea of a small world was echoed by a news report tonight from Iceland, that tiny island nation in the North Atlantic. Iceland is accepting refugees from Syria. One of the officials said that no one can choose where they will be born and that we are called to help each other in need.
The same news talked about an earthquake in Italy, another one in Myanmar and a shooting in Afghanistan. It really makes our disagreements seem pretty petty. The political discussions this past summer and now leading into the fall are slipping more and more out of the world of reality. I think the candidates themselves seem to be getting tired of it, as much as the rest of us.
When you mention politics to anyone there is a shrug of the shoulders and not much else. The discussions about the Clinton Foundation or the fact that Trump is hiring his own poll watchers so he can cry ‘fraud’ if he loses is exhausting to face in each night’s news broadcasts.
School started in many places today. A couple of grandparents sent me pictures of their grandchildren starting pre-school and first grade. I got a picture of my great-niece and great-nephew. She is 16, he is 11. Among them all there is that fresh-faced innocence, that underlying excitement of taking that bigger step into the world. I can even remember the butterflies in my stomach on that first day. When I taught high school the freshman in my world history class were wide-eyed and quiet with the anxiety that accompanies the first step into a new world and the wonder, “Can I meet the challenge?” Actually it was good to see them after Christmas descending into that crazy world called high school and for the most part enjoying it all.
Today was a gray, cool, rainy day. It was a welcome relief after the heat of summer and the few rain drops that fell were welcome. Everyone was moving as though in slow motion. I had a couple of board meetings where important topics were discussed. It is the end of the day. The sun is moving west and somewhere in Asia day is breaking and people there are moving into their morning routines. One hymn I love to sing has the words: The sun here having set is waking your children under western skies, and hour by hour as day is breaking, fresh hymns of thankful praise arise. I think of the children who had a full, exciting day rolling into bed, tucked in by grateful parents. In other places rescue workers are digging for people trapped under buildings. Tomorrow I will arise to a new day and be about the business of living.