It's not a small thing to have a village. A place from which to go. They say that home is where your story begins and I think that's true.
This weekend, I attended a party with my village. Generations of family friends all in one place. It was officially a reunion weekend. I attended my 30th high school reunion and my sister had her 25th. But at this party, there were people who graduated with my mother's class as well as grown-up kids I used to babysit and everyone in between. In my village, many of my friends' parents were in school with my parents, and for couple of families, even our grandparents went to school together.
|The Homestead, II|
I saw my sister for the first time in two years. We connected with a boy who moved away in 7th grade - our families were very close when they moved away to North Carolina. We haven't seen each other in 35 years. Another dear friend came back home - I haven't seen her in more than 30 years. And of course, I had a heart to heart with the boy in my class who has been my trusted friend since nursery school.
It's hard to explain how overwhelming this is. It really felt like a dream, as if a voice would break through the music on the jukebox at the party and say, "Laura Nelson - This is YOUR Life!" Or like Dorothy waking up from her dream, and seeing Auntie Em and Toto, and the hired men.... "Oh, and you were there, and so were you! You were all there!"
The old teenagers from the class of '82 can see 50 from where we are. We are parents and grandparents. We are working full time and we are retired. We are successful and we are struggling. We never left our hometown and we live on each coast. What brings us together are shared experiences throughout our childhood in our hometown. And that's what we all have in common, what brings us back together every five years... to check in, to reconnect, to share stories of glory days, and remember those who are no longer with us. We have our village.