“It is not down in any map; true places never are.” – Herman Melville, Moby-Dick
As we set out to take our daughter to her first Italian birthday party, we wondered about so many things. What are the customs for these parties regarding gifts, clothing, timing, and are we correct about any of the preparations we have made? As we entered the party, I froze for a moment, almost forgetting where I was. It is strange to be so far from home in so many ways, and to walk into settings that could easily be scenes from our life as we knew it, before this journey. It rarely happens and there are precious few experiences that land us in the familiar but this party did exactly that.
Everything was in a foreign language and the games were not familiar, nor were the people, food or, songs. The familiarity was deeper than what could be seen. It was a feeling of being in this place before. It was an atmosphere that engulfed us in fellowship and warmth and that comes from a place of joyful noise. It was a coming home of sorts because those feeling defy cultural boundaries and customs.
It is possible to feel at home anywhere you have emotionally been before, even if it is just for a moment in a chance encounter. It is a great honor to know this little piece of wisdom for those days when nothing resonates or makes sense. Being open to the feeling of home is sometimes all it takes to feel that connection when it is needed.
I will never forget our first Italian birthday party for taking us to a place we have been so many times, a place of true celebration.
Today, you can be deliberate in articulating the sights and sounds that bring you home . . .