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Weekly e-Gram for members and friends of Dublin Community Church

July 2, 2010

LIKE A SUMMER WITH A THOUSAND JULYS

Like most people, I am intrigued by the thought that I could go to some place in the world, to live or vacation and very few people would know where I am or have been. We like that idea of being “out there.” We need that idea.

Over the past 35 years, if I have needed to go to that one isolated spot in the world where I was really “out there,” I would remember the back road through the bush from the school in Zambia to the bridge over the nearby Kafue River .

It was really “out there,” just a tiny corner of the earth where I used to walk in my free time after teaching at the Mission School . The old shanty/grocery at the bridge sold warm Coca Cola (It’s an acquired taste and I indulged occasionally, though warm cola plus African sun has the affect similar to ingesting helium). Nevertheless, that school-to-bridge-thru-the-bush-semi-jungle road was my personal “out there” spot on the other side of the globe.

Until recently.

I then realized that I could use Google Earth and see my old school in Africa via satellite photos. I can spot my house, the school classrooms, military-style dorms, chapel and Bob’s “out there” bush road. You can park your car at Starbucks in Historic Dublin, set up your computer and see where I used to buy warm Cokes at the intersection of the Kafue River and the road to Chirundu in Zambia .

Small world.

But I still have another “out there” spot near our vacation cabin in Michigan . Yes, it too is on Google Earth. I figured it was. But, it takes a long time to get there…lots of miles driving, then a walk around the lake and the old gravel pit and back into the forest near the other lake. I walked it recently and looked at my new cell phone. No phone service, but the GPS system works up there. I can walk my “out there” place AND I can follow my own progress on the GPS finder on my phone.

Not only can I no longer hide from others, I can no longer hide from myself. And that “out there” place is no longer a part of me. And that seems too bad. We all need a place that is “out there” and inaccessible to all but ourselves.

Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing

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