We’re All Connected: A Magical Day

Sometimes everything comes together to show us something significant.  At least that’s what I believe.

Friday was a day that showed me how much I’m connected with others – past and present, near and far.  It’s as if the Universe conspired to give me several examples in one short day.

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The loader puts pine trees into the delimber

I drove that morning from Savannah to my sister’s and my Effingham County land, where we were having pine trees cut.

The timber cutting wasn’t the process I’d expected. I’d thought there’d be a big crew, lots of people involved.

But there were only a handful.  Three machines cut the pines and completed the whole process – from felling the trees to loading them onto pulpwood trucks.

The feller buncher cut the trees and laid them down for the skidder to drag them to the loader which put them into the delimber and then stacked them and loaded them onto the truck.  The operators worked in climate-controlled cabs.  They can work rain or shine, in heat or in cold.

The magical connection part of my morning was that the trees that our parents had had planted 20 years ago now will be sold to Weyerhaeuser to become “fluff” that will be sold to China.  Our Effingham County, Georgia, USA pine trees will be a part of diapers in China.

I was struck with the connections in time and space.

My parents’ planning in 1995 will be touching (literally!) people on the other side of this globe in 2015.  Did they think of that when they decided to have pines for pulpwood planted those 20 years ago?

How often do my decisions today affect the world 20 years from now?  How will those decisions connect up with other humans, perhaps humans on the other side of our earth?

How often do I consider that??

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My paternal great-greatparents’ grave

From the timber cutting, I drove the three miles down to the cemetery where my parents are buried.  My sister and I have been looking at our genealogy lately, and the names on the graves in the older part of the cemetery have more meaning now because I realize that there are family connections there, too.

I visited the graves of immediate family members – my parents, several aunts and uncles and cousins, as well as my paternal grandparents and great-grandparents.

I was trying to connect them with me, to feel how they are all a part of me – in ways of which I’m aware and in ways of which I am unaware.

While I was walking around, I noticed a woman come in the front gate.

Of course, on this magical day of connections, she turned out to be someone with whom I’d grown up!

We had gone to church together during our childhood.  I think I even remember when she was born.  And we share a common ancestor, a great-greatgrandfather.

We also share a pretty similar view of the world.

There’s something special about the connection with people from our childhood, those who shared a home church or a school or a sports team.  Those people know us in ways that people in our adult lives never can.

That’s a connection that is unique.

My friend and I had reconnected through Facebook, which gives us a window into each other’s worlds.

But this in-person, coincidental, this synchronous meeting was so perfect, so meaningful, in this magical day of connections.

After walking around the cemetery, sharing family stories, we hugged our goodbyes, and I went across the road to my home church.  The light of this winter afternoon was perfect for some photos.

Georgia Salzburger Society Museum

Georgia Salzburger Society Museum

I had walked back behind the Georgia Salzburger Society Museum to get some photos of the Fail House when I saw a couple looking around.  I knew that neither the church nor the museum was open.

But I’m full of information about the Salzburgers and could share some of the history, so I engaged the couple in conversation, asked where they were from and how they’d found the church.

Since this was a Magical Connection Day, of course we had a commonality!  The woman had relatives in my mother’s hometown of Sardis.  I remembered the name from my mother’s stories.

As I shared some of my Ebenezer Salzburger history, she shared some of her Burke County history.  Burke County is the home of the other half of my lineage, the maternal half.

So here I was in Ebenezer in Effingham County, where I grew up and the home of my father’s family (all the way back to the mid-1700s), talking about Burke County, the county where my mother grew up – with someone who had family history there.

Sometimes days come together in a way that makes me deeply feel that there is something much, much bigger than I am – and with much, much more wisdom than I have.

Something that conspires to make itself known to us in seemingly insignificant ways.

And sometimes in big, can’t-miss-it ways.

Friday was one of those days!

I felt connections from times in the past, generations and generations ago, connections that came all the way through time to Friday, January 9th, 2015.

I felt connections with people, people who knew my parents, people who knew my childhood self, people who had common ancestors and whose family had common friends of my family.

And there was a to-be connection of our pine trees planted 20 years ago with people on the other side of our blue planet in a product that will be a part of families’ lives as they care for infants who arrive on this earth sometime in the future of this year of 2015.

When I got up Friday morning, I had no idea that a magical day was in store.

But it surely was!

I returned to Savannah for the evening, grateful and amazed.

Awestruck, actually.

I’m a part of something vast but something very connected.

We all are.

Because we all are connected, past and present, near and far.

And some days conspire to show us just that!

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The Fail House, built in the 1700s

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Front porch of the Fail House

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Window of the Fail House

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Jerusalem Lutheran Church, Ebenezer, GA, completed in 1769

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