We have recently returned from visiting our son and daughter-in-law, who recently moved from Pittsburgh to San Diego. We had not seen them since they left the east coast. And now they are living on the west coast.
As ever, the ocean is a marvelous thing to behold. Two things can bear endless watching: a camp fire or fireplace, and the ocean.
We had spectacular weather while we were there--it was wondrous to leave the heat and humidity of a typical Pennsylvania summer, and experience the cool days with breezes blowing.
While we were there, we used Skype to have a sort of family reunion--talking with our daughter and son-in-law who live in London. Yes, that London.
Not long after we returned home, the news began breaking about a sudden up-swell of riots in Tottenham, a section of London. As if someone splashed gasoline on smoldering embers, the riots bloomed and spread through various parts of London. Then it morphed again, and spread to other cities in the UK.
View Initial London riots / UK riots in a larger map
The map above gives some sense of the extent of these riots.
It is always hard to be a parent when your children live at a distance from you. But, it is even harder to have them literally a continent apart and away.
It really struck me that there's a sense of revisiting, in contemporary terms, what Dickens was writing about in his classic A Tale of Two Cities. Of course, then London was the stable city, while Paris was the city on fire.
I am hoping that calm is restored soon. And even though we are thousands of miles from our children, we too can regain our calm. But, as we wait for calm, I also recall the moral of another English novel--The Lord of the Flies: the veneer of civilization is very thin indeed.