Labor Day at the shore has me thinking about the timeless appeal of maps. Why do we even still have them despite the existence of Google Earth, Mapquest, Waze and countless GPS programs? Are we truly that lost? Or is the simple, accessible 2-dimensional abstract rendering of a complex, not-so-easily-grasped 3-dimensional reality still a seductive pleasure to hold and absorb. A steadying influence in turbulent times. It can describe a very familiar place or an exotic locale that you’ve never been to and might never get to see. Both extremes and the whole range in between make up the realm of “maps”. Even in a world awash in detailed information about virtually every place, the appeal of a static, frozen-in-time image has not yet been made obsolete. The serene comfort of contemplating a map, including sharing in all the decisions the mapmaker made in rendering it, is a timeless pleasure, much like reading, which is defying modern obsolescence. Pick up a map, stare at it, and be transported to another place. Give your imagination a free rein. Go and return as many times as you please. The original “cheap thrill”! Make a map part of your familiar environment. You’ll be richer for the experience.