S is for Society.
Maybe society isn’t the right word.
At Laity Lodge, though, we were cut off from society. My car companions were laughing about how friends and family were shocked that they wouldn’t be able to keep up with March Madness while we were there.
Laity Lodge has no televisions in the rooms and no cell phone reception. I wonder how many people pulled out their cell phone when they got there just to make sure that the warning was a truth.
I have a friend who rents out her home weekly during the summers in Cooperstown. Even though cell phone companies have upped the coverage in that area during the summer, the way her home is nestled between hills, she still has no cell coverage. The fact that there is no cell reception is clearly stated multiple places when people rent the home, but she said they still pull out their cell phone when they arrive to check to see if it’s true. It is.
I thought about that cut-offness one day as I was walking the grounds at Laity Lodge. All sorts of stuff could be happening in the world and I wouldn’t know. Plane crashes, racial tension, earthquakes, men kneeling in the sand, presidential candidacy announcements, March Madness. Somehow I would survive three or four days without knowing whether or not any of these things happened.
Early in Fiddler on the Roof, the people of Anatevka gather while someone reads to them from the newspaper. The news they hear is already old, probably several weeks, ancient by today’s standards. Yet, they listen because it’s new to them.
Well, I was reading my paper. It’s nothing very important, a story about the crops in the Ukraine, and this and that…. And then I saw this….
“In a village called Rajanka, all the Jews were evicted, forced to leave their homes.”
Some news is just a kick in the gut.
Most news we hear is either nothing very important or it’s awful. I didn’t feel I was missing anything by missing it for a few days.
The truth is I was cut off from society, and yet I wasn’t.
I was in society with the 80-some people on the grounds.
And the hummingbirds.
And the Frio River.
It was good.
It was very good.
The highest society.