Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Closing Circles And Filling Holes

I've always liked science fiction, especially time travel. Of course, even though Einstein may have been right about time travel, and it may be possible someday, I feel that until that day comes I need to settle for another form of connecting to the past.

Facebook is one of those forms.

I joined this social networking megasite a little over a year ago, and since then I have reconnected with many people that I have not seen in over 30 years. It is as if I was having a telephone conversation, put down the phone for over three decades, or so, before picking it back up , and restarting the conversation where it had left off.

It is as if time has stood still.

All the life in between, the babies, jobs, marriages, deaths, divorces, moves, career changes, grandchildren are initially tucked away in a separate folder, and the first words of contact are "How are you?". From there, depending on the person, we may choose to open our folders, and share a bit, but the most important thing is to know that the other person has made it to this point in the timeline safely, and with as little wear and tear as possible. The other stuff is neat, and will be great to learn more about, but for now it is, "How are you?", and what we are really thinking is "Are you all right?".

How many times have we thought of someone we met in 6th grade, and wondered what ever happened to them after graduation. They may have come to mind when we heard a song, saw an old movie, or came across a crinkled photo in a box. Too often. It was a hole in our lives that would be better off filled in.

After making contact, reading the other persons profile, viewing the photos of their family they have posted, and reading their occasional updates, we can go on with our lives. Those loose ends left flapping in the wind for all those years are finally brought together, and the circles are closed.

Just knowing is enough to move on.

I have been blessed to have "filled in" a lot of holes.

Most of the time the hole filling is little more than finding an old friend on the site, or having an other old friend suggest some people to you. Just a simple click. They receive a request that you want to be a "friend", and they can acknowledge it, or ignore it. Most of them get acknowledged. Once that is out of the way you can check out their profile, photos, and try to put together what they've been up to. Of course, you can just ask them, too.

So, what's the point to all this?

I'm not really sure. Until this FB thing came along there was really no way that one could ever reconnect to the faces from our long ago lives unless it was at a class reunion, wedding, or funereal. Now, I have found that Susan is still an outspoken, funny rebel, and is directing her energy to helping others, Jean is constantly doing for others as well, Tim is still the musician, along with Joe, but nowadays, their passion pays the bills. Bill still plays with wood, and that play has gained him some renown as a furniture designer, and builder. So many faces from long ago, and the one thing I have found about each of them is that they really have not changed.

Oh, those physical teenage faces have changed somewhat, some more than others, but who they once were, is still who they are. That inner self is still very evident as I read their posts, their comments to others postings, view their family photos, and see what causes they support. They may feel that they have changed over time, that they are all grownup, and adults now, but that same fresh faced teenage person is still there, just a little wrinkled from a few decades of time travel.

I guess one thing that Facebook has shown me is that people don't really change, they do remain the same. They may have had rough patches along the way, and fallen out of sorts at times, but the same basic self was, and is still there.

This should be of some comfort to some. It certainly is for me.

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