I’m not sure how old I was the first time my family went to Disney World, but I do recall taking Fave and Beauty when they were toddlers themselves.
Just like my parents had done many times over the years, Warren and I had taken our children to visit relatives living in Florida.
I have fond memories of running through the orange groves across from my grandparents’ park, the blackish colored sand hot on my tender feet.
I remember my grandfather’s tricks, pretending he was stealing our noses and pulling magic quarters from behind our ears.
I remember grandma, always with a sewing needle and garment in hand or a deck of cards in some Solitaire formation.
I remember a constant smell of food wafting through the house, the screened in porch of their double-wide, swimming in the park’s pool, and that one time when sun-poisoning blistered my fair skin.
I remember bikes with baskets and bells and passing those many other children who were also visiting grandparents.
And though I don’t actually recall the first time I went through the amusement park’s ride, that song, It’s a small, small world, resurrects a joyful feeling.
It’s the one thing I HAD to do with my own children the day we took them to see Mickey and Minnie and all of the other beloved characters.
We all know that Walt Disney was a dreamer who did, a visionary who set into motion his thoughts.
But I wonder if he knew that one day travel would be so widely available to everyone, if he knew that college kids from all walks of life would have the privilege of world views, if he knew that escaping to Paris would actually become reality for Ordinary Joes and Janes.
And I wonder what moved him to bring Switzerland and Denmark and Germany to the relatively small town of Orlando.
“The world is no longer small,’ I’ve said many times in the past five years, “it’s microscopic.”
Though my memory of that amusement park ride is still a bit sketchy, I remember with distinct clarity the moment I realized just how tiny our world is.
As treasurer for Fave’s Project Graduation committee, I had enlisted the assistance of our personal accountant to help resolve some reporting and other financial questions.
He pulled up a national database of Project Graduation committees from across the country that had filed a relatively new non-profit form, and then he printed the document and handed it to me, so I could see the format and content.
The universe shrunk around me, instantaneously, and I could actually feel myself as part of something so very vast and yet something so absolutely tiny.
A bit like those images of a stick figure standing atop the globe, that’s the best way to describe it, as if everything within the universe was within arm’s length.
You see, printed at the top of that page was Clear Lake High School. Galveston, Texas.
At the time, Fave was dating a girl he’d traveled the world with through competition in their sport.
And, you know what’s coming…she lived in Galveston. Texas.
It wasn’t like the financial advisor had selected the first or last name from the list, or the first name under an alphabet heading, even; he’d randomly clicked on a name that turned out to be one from which I knew somebody.
That’s the first time I declared the world to be microscopic.
I know there was another incident that happened not too long after that one, but I don’t recall the details.
But get this, in January I received a phone call from my father.
He was traveling from North Carolina to Canada on business and struck up a conversation with the man sitting next to him.
“Where are you headed? Where are you from?”
And then, when the guy indicated he lived in a town ten minutes from my small town, he asked “You don’t happen to know any Elizabeth’s do you?”
As a matter of fact, this orthopedic surgeon had just seen my daughter five days earlier for a follow-up to surgery he performed on her in December…
He not only operated on our daughter, but he’s executed two surgeries on Warren, and he’s not only helped monitor Fave’s health, he’s also supported the fundraisers we’ve done to help cover his elite athletic endeavors.
And when I went to that Hay House writer’s workshop in Denver, Colorado a few weeks ago?
I struck up a conversation with the gentleman next to me, who lives less than thirty minutes from my home AND his wife works at our local library…
He wasn’t originally assigned the seat he was in, but had traded places with a young girl so she could sit next to her fiancé.
And then, this past Sunday, in a room filled with about four-hundred people, I sidled up to the stage to take pictures and video of Fave’s performance.
As I cheered him on, a guy tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Are you his mom?”
He not only hails from a small town twenty-five minutes from our tiny borough, he is the official photographer for the team Fave just joined in the metropolis that is Charlotte, NC…
I seem to recollect my father telling the story of rounding a corner in someplace like Germany and literally bumping into someone he knew from the States, but I never appreciated just how small the world is myself until recent years.
And I must say, I do feel as if I could almost wrap my arms around our globe and scratch any of its surfaces or its people…
What about you? Have you ever experienced something that made the world seem even smaller?
Until next we meet again, yours in healing, hope, and happiness…
p.s. Comments make my day, so please remark away! Join me on those other social media spaces, too! Go ahead, click those little links up there on the sidebar! You’re awesome!!