Day 84/85 – 15 km (total – 1927.7 km)
Yesterday was a short 15k run into Edmundston where it was a beautiful spring day. I took Koona for a walk and was amazed to still see 3 feet of snow in people’s front yards! Sarah was able to find us a free room at the Comfort Inn so it was a chance to put up the feet and have the first shower in over a week. It has felt like a long week out on the road since leaving Fredericton and I’ll admit to enjoying some of the amenities that a city has to offer.
This morning we visited with Saint Mary’s Academy, the only English speaking school in Edmundston. It has about 150 students total from K-12. When I spoke with the students in grades 6-12, there was an opportunity for questions or comments at the end. A student in grade 6 shared with the group that she thought people who lived their lives through the internet weren’t living real lives. She talked about a fake reality and not one that is based in real people and real situations. It was actually quite a compelling thought by this student.
On a personal level, I am feeling her words a lot these days. I am communicating with a lot of people through email, be it friends or family. I am trying to have meaningful conversations on the phone as well, but I am still feeling an emptiness. Perhaps it’s not to say I’m in a fake reality, but I am finding myself yearning for that physical presence of being in the same room as the person I’m talking to. To see the eyes of my friends and family would be so nice (and no, skype doesn’t cut it!). To give my buddy a shot in the arm when he makes fun of me. To have body language be as big a part of the conversation as the words that are uttered. That community we build for ourselves can’t function well through technology. Technology can add to the frequency of communication, but it needs something deeper in order to grow and to strengthen. I realize this isn’t ground breaking news!! But over the last couple of weeks, I have been reminded of the value that comes with having conversations face to face. I appreciate those conversations I’m having with people I don’t know, and look forward to more face to face time with friends as I get closer to my community.