Thursday, March 22, 2007

At home with a cup of coffee

Sharing for Ligaya North District D's D-Light Newsletter (This explains the observance of proper capitalization.)

As an international camper, I have lived many days from out of a suitcase. I've had to adjust to languages and climates, cuisines and cultures. With limited time and limited couture, you make and try to get the best of what the surroundings have to offer. You try to get comfortable. It takes time, but eventually, you do.

And though the marvels and sights of your temporary “home” take your breath away, you will always long for that place that knows your skin so well. You think of a dress you could have worn or a pair of shoes you should have brought; you crave for a familiar taste in a favorite watering hole or the smell of (of all things) detergent. At a certain point, you find yourself ready to go home.

Being away from North D was just like going to camp. I never quite understood the reason for my sabbatical, but in obedience, I packed my suitcase and made for another district. There, I adjusted to languages and schedules and traditions. I swallowed and breathed the culture and everything that it had to offer. And in time, I got comfortable. But as comfortable as I was, I just knew that there was a place that I would rather be. After two years away, I longed to go home.

I was so delighted to learn that I would be returning to North D. For me, it is where I started to grow my roots in the community. It was where I first declared that truly, I was “Maligaya sa Ligaya.” I loved that although I was (and still am) single, I was never alone. I remember the generosity of married brothers and sisters, be it a chair to sit in, a plastic plate for the Lord’s Day, or the time I was rescued from an overheating radiator. I was awed, humbled and inspired by how service was a way of life in the district. I loved that I was surrounded by whole families with parents mentoring children, mentoring me. I remember the familiar sights and smells of Lord’s Day where you can literally taste and see how good our God can be with Ate Haydee’s flowers and Mel Nepomuceno’s patatim… and the coffee afterwards. There was always coffee, and GOOD coffee at that.

My first return to the district was at February’s District Gathering. Milling around after Mass, I was pleasantly surprised to see an official district coffee maker.  (I guess I have been away for a long time.) A sister encouraged me to take a cup and drink 
my fill. I did… and I intend to over and over again. Oddly enough, THAT was when I knew I was truly home. Coffee never tasted so good; to be home never tasted so sweet.