Because I grew up as a “government brat,” we lived all over the country, but ‘home’ was between Florida and California. On so many occasions, I have been amazed at what a small world it is, and am reminded of it so often.
One of my favorite stories is about a dear young man who is a mountain climber (that is an understatement). He is one of the members of the expedition that discovered the body of George Mallory on Mount Everest. He is a precious spirit, and one of my favorite human beings.
He is often hired by different companies and groups to lead expeditions. His equipment is usually provided by suppliers for the advertising advantage that such a trip would provide them. One year when he was hired by a group of five women to summit Mount Everest, it was his job to not only get them there safely, but he was also to film them as they peaked the summit. They provided him with a helmet-mounted camera, and the idea was that he would be standing at the peak as they reached the summit and it would be recorded for posterity.
As he stands at the top of the world and the first woman is coming in to camera range and is just reaching her lifelong dream of climbing Mount Everest, he hears, “Jake! Jake Norton!! Is that YOU????!!!!!” Unable to turn around, he kept his wits about him and didn’t turn his head to the right or the left so as to capture the scenes he had been hired to film, but imagine his surprise when one of his close Colorado College friends is standing next to him at an elevation of almost 30,000 feet above sea level on a point above the entire world.
Every time I think of that story, and think about what a truly small world it is, the expression Six Degrees of Separation comes to mind.