Saturday, June 07, 2008

It's A Small World

The sound of the neighborhood kids playing filled the air this afternoon as our new friends across the street entertained a small mob to commemorate their daughter's first birthday. The alley and the street were filled with cars and kids on bikes, a combination only so fluid on a day like this. There was so much fluidity about the afternoon there, and indeed our day as a whole.
This morning was spent with a dear friend as he said his last goodbyes to his mother at her funeral. He stands now as the last of his family since the passing of his mother, father and brother has occurred all in the last two and a half years. There was a gentle peace about the proceedings as the Lord had reassured our friend in several ways that his mother was safely home. At her internment, as they lowered the coffin into the ground there was a subtle scattering of sunlight, like a kiss, on an otherwise cloudy morning. It passed as quickly as it came, but it's memory will remain.
The funeral was read in German as well as English, and brought a few memories for me of my grandmother and grandfather and the community I knew so little of. It was nice to hear another language being spoken.
At the birthday party it was the same thing except the family there is from the Philippines. I was very touched by their hospitality and genuine enjoyment of each other and their kids. Normally these occasions are ones where the parents drop off their kids and enjoy a little free time on their own, not so here. Whole families were represented in this little back yard and everything moved and danced with life. So many smiles and so much laughter it was healing. I laughed the first public belly laugh I can remember in some time and it felt good.
I look forward every day to the time when we will return to a culture that is not our own, but for now I celebrate the fact that there is so much cultural diversity all around us and especially our kids. These days we cannot give our kids much materially, but there is such wealth seeded in them in their openness to others and their cultures. This makes me glad.

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