Thank you God for taking me there and back and bringing me home again.
After a long travel -day on Sunday, arriving on a foggy night, the Dayton International Airport was a comfortable sight to see. I was home. Let's not discard the fact that I had an amazing weekend working the Marianists and Marianist Universities booth at a Youth Ministry conference in Orlando.
There will certainly be some blogging and reflecting on the FUN we had WORKING, but that is for another time. What happens at the booth, stays at the booth. LOL ;)
Drove home, got settled after lighting the yummy pumpkin spice candle, and while the flat bread was in the oven, I turned on the TV and found that PBS had a special on the music of Oscar Hammerstein II. Yes, that one, the Rodgers and Hammerstein Hammerstein that gave us, Sound of Music, The King and I, Oklahoma! and South Pacific. Heaven!
They spent more time on South Pacific. It was written and released post WWII in a time when the world was very sensitive and pointing fingers at "them", the bad guys, whoever they were, whatever they looked like. And, at a time when political correctness was not in style, they went there! The theme of prejudice and racism is prevalent and "in your face" but sugar coated (kind of) by having two very different couples fall in love. I don't have to get into details about the story. The American soldier and the Polynesian girl; the older Frenchman and the young American nurse. It all happened one enchanted evening...
Falling in love is something I have not specifically blogged about but have alluded to several times. It is part of life, it is life giving and heart breaking. While having my share of heartaches and heartbreaks, the kind that hurts so much physically that you can't breath, I have learned to compartmentalize. It helps a bit.
Loving a person is multifaceted, multilayer and multi-full of drama! Maybe just among Puerto Ricans, because at least in my family, the level of drama hits very high notes. However, there are different kinds of love... The one that keeps me going these days is the love of a mother to her son. Boy, can that kid make my heart melt with a smile, a devilish bat of the eyelashes and his hugs. I love hugs! What Luis does that surely re boosts my heart and refills it with love every single time is when he insists on holding my hand when he is tucked in at night. He won't let go! I love it... and I know it won't last long, for he will soon not want to spend so much time with Mama. I guess that's OK, right? It's part of life.
The other kinds of love, for family and friends, I have experienced to get better with time. With time you see how you have grown up around cousins, parents, grandparents who, given all the quirks, personality clashes, likes and dislikes, love you and better yet, like you! I love my family, you kind of have to, but I actually LIKE them too! Countdown for champagne Noche Buena toasts has begun!
Ok, ok, I know you are waiting... now comes the romantic love. Oh, that one. I could totally be the debbie downer and write all depressed about my bad luck in that department. How at a young age I lived in a cloud, so up above in the sky, pretending my true feelings, what my gut was telling me, was not true, I had to fall fast and hard thousands and thousands feet to the ground to wake up and speak up, and get out! It wasn't love... it was a dream. It was an illusion and a hunger for approval that kept getting fed with ideas, expectations, plans... someone else's, not mine. Done. Moving on!
When a person goes through heartaches and heartbreaks, what happens is not necessarily a loss. Yes, there is loss, but there is gain. New energy emerges, new opportunities come and every day, the sun comes out- cue "Annie" :)
On a serious note, when it comes to relationships and falling in love with a person, it is true that you can't control when and how it happens. It could happen at the mall, at work, in a retreat, at a conference. No, it's not a lightning bolt, not love at first sight, but there can be a click. Right? I can only vouch for my own journey. I have loved and I have lost... but I still hope and believe again. I don't believe in love at first sight, but I DO believe in the CLICK. ;)
I know now, with all my heart, a few things too... My heart leaps when I am around passionate people, who are goal oriented, and are do-ers. Without judging, but for me personally, the biggest turn-off is being indifferent and indifference breaks hearts. I love being around believers; believers in what they do and who they are. Whatever you do, do it with integrity, respect and with a little bit of humility. Like my hero archetype, Atticus Finch, with authority without being authoritarian and dictatorial. Take a stand, but do it with respect.
Two people can come from the same place, yeah, that is a bonus, they may speak the same language, but not understand each other at all. Engage me in depth and thought-provoking conversations, while knowing very well, I will need a dose of reality TV from time to time, or ESPN! I love my work and my commitment to education makes me who I am. My friends and family know that makes me, it feeds my mind, my heart, my soul. My faith too. It defines me, even though my church is challenging and often at odds with my own personal beliefs. It has been a blessing to love and be loved by people who feel the same way about their work and their faith. Like Barbara Streisand said after her own "reality check" in "The Mirror has Two Faces" - I want it all. :)
The PBS special on Oscar Hammerstein got me to listen to the lyrics of songs I have heard a million times, seen on the stage and screen, beautifully performed. Had I ever really understood the words? Perhaps not until now. "Some enchanted evening you may see a stranger, you may see a stranger
across a crowded room and somehow you know, you know even then that somewhere you'll see her
again and again."
Are you still there, God? I know you have heard me (in my head, yes!) before, I just don't want to bore you. Just a little nudge to make YOU aware too, that I get what you are doing, I think. You are teaching me, you are helping me and guiding me. You sure have an interesting way of doing it. ;)
What more can I say... I believe. But Oscar wrote it best..."Who can explain it? Who can tell you why? Fools give you reasons, wise men never try."