This piece of planet Earth

I love contemplating the night sky and then seeing it a day later from the other side of the country or the other side of the world. That’s one of the wonders of travel, isn’t it? It rather grounds me in the reality of how insignificant I am.

I’ve been in Seattle for a week; I’m back home in Washington, D.C. I often call Seattle my “spirit city” as I feel right at home there, and I have had a lot of important things happen there in ways that have enhanced my life, helped me grow, just been amazing. And I have a lot of friends there, people I really love.

But I live in D.C. as I said. So if Seattle is my “spirit city,” this is my “body city.” That sounds a bit weird. Let me say it better: “This is my place of rootedness.” This is the place I am called on, by the fact that I live here, to invest in, to care for, and to help flourish.

In Seattle, I stared and stared at Puget Sound, watching ferries transverse the water back and forth to Bainbridge Island. I gazed at Mount Rainier the two days it was “out.” And then I flew home and looked out at my own beautiful view — the six lanes of traffic of Connecticut Avenue and many yellow trees shedding their leaves on the thoroughfare.

It really is beautiful in its way, this busy street, full as it is with the comings and goings of people with loves and lives that I’ll never know, with plans that motivate them onward and homeward again, with lives that somehow intertwine with mine if only because they pass my house each day. Short of a flat tire, we are not likely to meet, but we are connected somehow.

I’m a fan of ordinary graces, ordinary life, the wonder of each square inch of land, sea and sky, whether it’s overtly, naturally beautiful or — simply — mine.



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