It is late spring in Vermont. The trees are filled with leaves. The branches, so easily traced in the winter barren, are hidden in June green.
The branches, the roots, the grounding in Him–it all reminds me of where I’ve come from, and where I am sending the six whom I love. We have our family tree. Its branches reach back to the early days of ocean voyages and the promise of English land on American soil.
On Tuesday, a little subset of our family traveled to Plymouth, Massachusetts. It is a place of legend and religion and hard work and untimely death. The 38th house at “Plimoth Plantation” was built nearly 400 years ago by a grandfather of mine, one who came by choppy seas in search of a new way, I suppose.
So I’ve been in two worlds this week. The first was a study in grey and brown–a landscape of mud and straw houses, each with a nail for a closet and a kettle for a cookstove. These simple homes were juxtaposed against a modern world and our lavish, art deco hotel with a thermostat in the shower and a Boston skyline view from the window.
The first world was one of mutual need and collective sharing–a struggle for survival. It was a place of humble dependence and depth of loss. Conversely, today’s world is one of perpetual connectedness (even by blogs, I dare say), but it is also a place of precious little true intimacy. Now we are free and brave, but we don’t remember well our humble birth . . . and our need for true community in the Body of Christ.
This makes me wonder at things. A lot happens in 400 years. A lot happens in 2000 years. We seem so far away, in time and space, from the early church that shared their possessions, their hearts and even their very lives. The only belonging that mattered was the belonging to Christ.
And I wonder if I am keeping my own boundaries a bit too tidy . . .