Saturday, November 23, 2013

My "Tulasi" Her Tbilisi

It was about the year 1828 that the Lochapoka clan of the Muscogee tribe established a settlement they called "Tulasi" under the oak tree near what is now the corner of Cheyenne and 18th Street.  The tree is still there. Tulasi town, now called Tulsa, actually means "Old Town" in the Creek language.  I am proud of the history and 185 year old heritage of the town I call home.  That's a long time!

Today I became more aware that age is relative.

After poking around on YouTube this afternoon, looking at clips of TBilisi, I was impressed... again... at how little I know of this grand world of ours... and how easy it is to project a personal world view onto others of whom I know nothing.  

In one clip, I listened to a smiling girl, back home in Georgia on holiday, speak proudly of her city, the monuments and history (the language is beautiful ...I was glad for the subtitles, ha!).  She mentioned the many church buildings (owing to the fact that Christianity was adopted by the city before 400AD) and how religious Georgians are. 

I let myself be consumed.  I listened to the music, I looked into faces, and I saw people doing life, loving, hurting, living, laughing, crying ... all of which I am completely oblivious to.  My small corner of the universe consumes me, as theirs does them.   I wondered what they hoped in and for.  And I was hungry, so I wondered about their food... which on the clips looks like it needs to be evaluated in person... yes?

Later, as I drove down the street coming home from church... on MY side of the planet...  I was still marveling at the differences.  Just look at the ancient Tbilisi architecture and heritage vs. the rapid recent growth in my neighborhood.  For example, in just the last five years, fields that were filled with rambling cows and the occasional dilapidated fireworks stand have been replaced with bustling shopping centers, restaurants, elaborate gyms, new car lots and hotels.

Though I may be conditioned to like and appreciate this kind of progress and transition, it is interesting how much enjoyment, and maybe even comfort, I find in the permanent, like the tree that dominates our front yard.  It is probably one of the most majestic Oak trees I have ever seen.  I would guess that it surely dates back way more than 100 years.  I sat one time watching the squirrels do their spiral chase up and down and imagined the world of that young tree many generations of squirrels ago.   To think that I have in my own front yard something that represents such great endurance, stability, and longevity.

And then, I look at a city, where my daughter walks, works, and plays whose written history dates back to 364AD and where there is archeological evidence of being inhabited by humans as early as the 4th millenium BC.  Really?  Well, at least I have an old tree!  Goodness!

I just wonder... and want to visit her and that place... to hear, see, smell, and feel the heart of the culture. Oh yeah, and to taste and enjoy...of course!

Matthew 28:19-20

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