I built a cairn a few weeks ago and one of my fellow garden bloggers, Jodi of bloomingwriter fame, left a comment suggesting that those who'd visited the gardens virtually, send a stone for our cairn. She offered to start it off.
Jodi has the hono(u)r of being the first person to contribute a stone to our cairn. Last Friday, just before we left for the weekend, I received a package from Canada. It took eight days to make its way about 2200 kilometers (1367 miles).
The stone that Jodi chose was gathered from the path down to Scott's Bay near her home in Nova Scotia. It's made of granite and she chose it because it has somewhat of a heart shape. I've placed it on the cairn and it now greets me, the cats, and every other visitor to our gardens as they enter them.
The heart shape is appropriate, Jodi. It symbolizes the ties that we as human beings have on this earth to each other, including yours and mine. They form by various means. Some live next-door, some live next-country, and some live on the other side of the world. Something brings us together in a moment, and we are better people for having met, regardless of the vehicle that transports us.
Many people don't understand these internet relationships we have. And if you've never made a friend this way, it's hard to understand. But once you have, it seems as normal as it was when we were kids and had pen pals in far-off lands. We exchanged letters relating our lives to each other and hoped that someday we could meet in person.
The internet, like the world, can be a scary place and there are precautions to be taken. But at some point, you make the choice to refuse to be as cynical as some and take a chance that those friends you've made in this way are who they say they are.
My life has been enriched beyond description because of the people that live in my computer. I'll never forget the day many years ago when I found myself chatting with a student in Bangladesh - the world suddenly became very small. I've learned so much in this way and it has opened my eyes to new ideas and causes me to look at old ones in a new way. It has made me see that there are an awful lot of kind and caring people out there with good hearts and it inspires me to become more like them.
In my idyllic world, I have this crazy idea that if people bothered to get to know people from other places, whether it be in your own country or around the globe, we would realize that although we live in our own delineated spaces, we are all inhabitants of Planet Earth and this alone ties us together. The internet makes this so much more possible.
World peace via the internet . . . it's got to start somewhere!