This Same Sky by Nancy Mugele


Two of my three children moved in the past two weeks, and the third is literally moving as we speak – each signing a new lease (on life) and beginning her or his next chapter. Just when I had their recent addresses memorized they all changed on me – at once. Seems a bit unfair to Mom, but what it really means is soon I will see several address edits, and a lot of activity, on my Amazon account – which somehow they all have the password for – but that is another story.

Both Jenna and Kelsy hired professional movers to move short distances into new apartments in their current cities of Baltimore and Nashville, respectively. James, on the other hand, moving 668 miles from Denver, Colorado to Livingston, Montana, called Dad. Jim was happy to oblige for several reasons. First, James does not own any large furniture that would need to go up several flights of stairs! But, most importantly, it meant a weeklong trip out west which combined business with a personally guided fly fishing tour along a semi-direct route, starting with Henry’s Fork on the Snake River, as they traveled north to Big Sky country. Jim caught his first trout on a fly on the trip and I am pretty sure James was even more excited than his Dad.

The title of poet Naomi Nye’s curated collection of poems from around the world – This Same Sky – has been top of mind this week. With three children in three different parts of the country, I often gaze upwards and wonder what they are all doing. I know that my children are looking up at a slightly different slice of the sky from their own unique vantage points. Jenna’s new view from five stories up looks west so, like us on the Chester, she now sees the sunset, and a purple glow from Ravens Stadium. Kelsy’s new view is just the opposite, she will face east when she completes her move today, and tomorrow morning she will see her first sunrise. Well, maybe not tomorrow morning, but you get the picture. While Jenna sees the cityscape, Kelsy has a greener view with trees and a hill. James, now living in Montana’s Paradise Valley, has a breathtaking vista of snow-covered mountains literally at his doorstep.

Naomi also has a collection of original short stories titled There is No Long Distance Now which has been on my mind as well. Although my family is separated by geography, we can connect quickly via smartphone. While James and Jim were “moving” (or should I say “fly fishing”) I sent a text to our family group telling James that a mattress we ordered would be delivered on Friday. That prompted Kelsy to immediately type: How much is it? I would like a moving contribution. Remind me next time to text only the person receiving a gift – not the entire family!

Jenna stayed out of the mattress cost conversation as she was in Springfield, Missouri for a week of meetings with Bass Pro Shops but she caught up with us on the family chat on the night the Washington Capitals won the NHL’s Eastern Conference Championship and the Prince of Wales Trophy. We are all huge hockey fans. (And, in case you were wondering about the name of the trophy, the Eastern Conference used to be called the Wales Conference.) Jenna watched the game with her UnderArmour colleagues in a sports bar in Springfield, and she told us that they got a lot of stares from the locals as they cheered for the Caps! Thinking we will need a Rock the Red Day at Kent School as the Caps play for the Stanley Cup! First awarded in 1893, did you know the Stanley Cup is the oldest existing trophy in professional sports? Go Caps!

And, speaking of the Prince of Wales, yes, I did wake up very early two weeks ago to watch the Royal Wedding live and I am so glad that I did. The Most Reverend Michael Bruce Curry, once a rector at a West Baltimore church, truly inspired me with his passionate sermon about the power of love. “Imagine a world,” he said, “when love is the way.” Love is the way in our family, even across many miles, and I believe that we are each stronger for it. When love is the way, I believe the world is a better, and much smaller, place under this same sky.

Nancy Mugele is the Head of School at Kent School in Chestertown and a member of the Board of Horizons of Kent and Queen Anne’s.


Letters to Editor

  1. Katharine Hudson says:

    I like the way Nancy Mugele begins this column with family news then broadens the scope for further meaning. She weaves in everything from the sermon at the Royal wedding, to the NHL championships and Kent School to poet Naomi Nye. Her theme of the same big sky has been with me since I read the essay a week ago. I look forward to more.

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