The house sat on a lane of peace and serenity, encased by luscious, green trees. There was no room for peace in the house; there was only joy.
My hand gripped the racquet, tensing as the white birdie flashed before the blue sky. A graceful stroke later, the birdie lay on the ground, on the other side of the net. An arm reached down, and a racquet raised. My hand tensed again…
The cold water tickled my skin as I sliced through it. My feet kicked, my arms pulled, and I surged forward, navigating a tangled crowd…
Shouts of joy and laughter filled the air.
I knew each voice. Hands lashed out at the beachball.
I knew each one.
I was starving, and life was taking great joy in giving me a tour of my very own, personal, famine. Filet mignon, juicy and tender, sat before me. Challah bread, irresistible, called to me. The green beans waited.
Finally, the last person sat down. The broken rectangle was now complete; the table was walled in by a cocoon of family.
Conversation rose and fell. Stories were exchanged; jokes told; years were forgotten and remembered alike. The sun was setting outside, but the house was a haven of light and warmth. I dug into my meal, and that, too warmed me.
I savored my steak; and the green beans made my taste buds tingle with excitement. A hearty bite of challah bread banished my last memory of hunger.
Finally, I realized. Finally, I understood.
I felt the huge, powerful, aura of love that each member of my family emitted. I heard a thousand well wishings, and I understood that they all came from the heart. I felt the hopes, and the desires of my family; and all that they gave: supporting me.
I also wished them well; let my hopes, and desires, stand by them. We, a family, were not only connected by blood: we were connected by love. As I gave a hundred gifts, and accepted a thousand more, I belonged.
Goodbyes were exchanged; figures shuffled away from the warmth and light of the house, into the darkness. Joy and sorrow mingled; and in the end joy prevailed. A gift given by each family member: a parting wave, accompanied by a smile.
I lay in bed; the covers hugged me. Fondly, I sifted through memories of the past day.
My hand gripped the racquet, tensing as…
I knew each voice.
Now the voices were gone; the conversation they made, always rising and falling: silenced.
Hands lashed out at the beachball…
I drifted into sweet sleep, promising myself that I would one day see all of my family again; knowing that I would always belong.
That was the day I realized. In the house that sat on a lane of peace and serenity, encased by luscious, green trees. Where there was no room for peace in the house; there was only joy.
That day, I truly understood. That day, when I felt the huge, powerful, aura of love that emitted from each member of my family, I was empowered. They gave me new strength; prepared me to go into the world with fresh mind and heart.
That was the day I belonged.