After reading Paul Salopek’s review of In Motion: The Experience of Travel by Tony Hiss, I promptly added the book to my wishlist. The most lyrical passages in In Motion describe how the 2003 blackout in New York jarred an entire bustling metropolis — the apex of sedentary life — into a state of Deep Travel: Manhattanites gaped at lingering sunsets for the first time in years; and with thousands of air conditioners silenced, neighbors could hear hushed conversations across the street. An old wonder was rediscovered.
Tami Winfery Harris wonders if hers is the last generation of African Americans who will remember going “down South” in the summertime. For Midwestern families of The Great Migrations–African American families–pointing the family car South wasn’t about seeking sand and sun and maybe a visit to Disney World. It was about returning, as my father would say, “down home.” It was, I imagine, for the adults, about reconnecting with cultural roots; showing off children to relatives rarely seen. It was about introducing offspring to roots that were foreign to them.
Skye Jethani points out “The Perpetuity Problem” in this thoughtful post about the tendency to judge success by longevity. Many in ministry have come to believe that if something lasts, if it continues even after we have stepped away, then it can be considered a success. A church plant that grows, finds a property, builds a facility, hires a staff, and still exists 20 years later is deemed a success.