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January 12, 2010 / alunatunes

January 11 2010-Facebook circa 1840


Over the weekend, I discovered the wonderful world of Cranford on PBS. Ever a fan of Jane Austen, I delighted in the discovery of  Elizabeth Gaskells’ fictional 1840’s English village. Like Austen, Gaskells recounts tales of the people and circumstances in the village of Cranford, close to Cheshire. Gaskells’ rich female characters remind me of Austen’s wonderful, warm, and witty women.  I was mesmerized as I followed the townsfolk’s  intrigues and interludes, diversions and derision and amiable and admirable display of character, style, grace and humbleness.

 This particular episode centered around the new- fangled railroad being brought to the doors of the quant and proper Cranford of 1844.  The heroine of Cranford, Miss Matty and her friends mourned the loss of the essence of their small village. Appalled at the noise, business, smoke and displacement of land and cottages, Miss Matty and her neighbors initially railed against the coming of the steam engine. As circumstances unfolded, the neighbors, at the behest of Miss Matty’s letter writing campaign, change their minds about the railway and realize, in the wake of change and discomfort there was much to be gained, especially for the young citizens of Cranford. As a group, the women and several of the gentry bravely climb aboard the steam engine, bouncing and speeding along  at a staggering 35 miles per hour, essentially opening the door for her neighbors to accept the railroad as an advancement in their way of life.

Miss Matty and her cohorts powers of persuasion in the 1840’s may  be likened to 2010’s  sway of  facebook and twitter.  Groups of disparate people come together on matters of common interest, form groups, devise invitations and causes and collectively create ripples and, on occasion, waves.

We all have the power- in small ways as well as large- to change the course of our own lives as well as those we touch. Be mindful today of the power of your word, your enthusiasm and energy. Be sure someone is watching and listening and endeavour to create a life that is unafraid of change and advancement.  So often, we fear to step into the unknown and accept change and technology.

Today I’m opting to leave the comfort zone of my personal Cranford, board the train and speed along to new adventures. How about you?


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