Today is a splashing of melancholy for me as I half-heartedly celebrate 25 years residency in Europe.
I vividly remember the adjustment and chaos of registering as an alien, just as my mother had done 41 years before on Ellis Island off of New York with that Statue of Liberty glowing down and saying, yes child, you are welcome to make music in the land of the free and home of the brave. Albeit that does seem to be changing doesn’t it. Then, way back then, it seems I had the same welcoming in a different ambient and without that glorious statue. (I hope nobody has the idea to take her down.) I had made the circle complete but never with the thought of staying and living permanently in a foreign land 5,450 miles away from the sublime sniff of Idaho air and chilly-brilliant night sky where it seemed no star was left burning alone.
Yes everything was condensed and serious. Living in New York City still hadn’t prepared me for the culture shock of dealing with bureaucratic oddities in Austria and Germany. I am still getting used to it.
25 years later, being nailed down to guide and nurture my child which is the greatest honor I have ever known, I must reflect on my country her hardships, her glories, and her tests yet to come. I know that I will die an American and this is someway a burden off the shoulders. It is the realization that indeed home is where the heart is, not the shoes. We are resilient, we Americans. How very heartened I am observing the courage and dignities of our brothers and sisters in Texas, and how utterly sad and disheartening to feel so powerless to do something for them other than sending aid. Resilience is a gift of freedom. Fighting for the rights of others… an honor.  Let us pray for common sense and intelligence to prevail in our country.
25 years living as an expatriate is humbling and still frightening. Expatriate should not be confused with “ex-patriot” PLEASE! Nothing could be further from the truth. Embrace your land and hold it for every worth. Change it where it needs to be changed. Read the words of those who built it regardless of their politics or persuasions. Learn from their mistakes and never accept that “we have come far enough”.  Regardless of your age take time to LEARN so that your opinion is at minimum laced with truth and fact. Above all be tolerant and respectful and accept no less. “Tough” is a virtue but  doesn’t mean having a big mouth without substance. Stand up to the bullies with strength of character for they shall eat their words and eventually dissipate into their havens of improbability.
Every moment of every day and crumb of time is ours to make glorious and sustaining. Yes, I wrote that and am the most guilty for not believing it when I need to believe. I guess I am still searching for my Resilience which means I need to be reminded I am free from time to time. Much love my friends.


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