Every time that I prepare for a trip away from home, I begin to think about the meaning of the word. In general, the word “home” brings to mind a place where one comes to lie his or her head. It’s a series of numbers above the front door that represents the person who lives there.

Yet, as the time nears for me to begin the thankless task of packing, I realize home is so much more and that I am a homebody from the top of my head to the tips of my toes. Even as I am excited  to see my out-of-state family, I am wistful leaving my zone of comfort for five weeks.

It is crucial to point out that traveling is one of the things that I would do if I had a bottomless bank account. I’d travel the world and the country experiencing untold beauty and countless cultures. I want to see these things, not read about them.My passport would runneth over with stamps from many country in the world.

Yet, I don’t think it irony that I consider myself a homebody. I enjoy taking any opportunity to spend time that I can with my family. I have three adult children and only two of them live in the Austin area. Even though they visit Texas regularly, I welcome every opportunity to bond with my grands. I treasure this time.

Yet, in my mind, “home” is my touchstone. It holds cherished memories, treasured objects, one of a kind art projects gifts given me over time by my children and grandchildren,  and certainty that all is s I fet it. More importantly, coming home is a visceral experience, like entering a much loved sacred sanctuary that you know intimately. Then there are the people whom

Going away makes me remember that this is home and that it will be here when I return to welcome me with open arms.

Blessings,  lydia

Happy Friendship Day

Disney's adaptation of Stephen Slesinger, Inc....Image via Wikipedia
A U.N. Ambassador of Friendship
To my friends, both near and far and old and new, I wish you a very Happy Friendship day. For those of you with little knowledge of the history surrounding the day (including me), Wikipedia provides the following:
 “Friendship Day was originally promoted by Joyce Hall, the founder of Hallmark cards in 1919, and intended on first sunday of august to be a day where people celebrated their friendships by sending cards. The first Sunday in August was chosen as the centre of the largest lull in holiday celebrations. Friendship Day was promoted by the greetings card National Association during the 1920s but met with consumer resistance – given that it was rather too obviously a commercial gimmick to promote greetings cards. By the 1940s the number of Friendship Day cards available in the US had dwindled and the holiday largely died out there…. Today, Friendship Day is enthusiastically celebrated in a number of countries across the world.  In honor of Friendship Day in 1998, Nane Annan, wife of Secretary-General Kofi Annan, named Winnie the Pooh as the world’s Ambassador of Friendship at the United Nations. The event was co-sponsored by the U.N. Department of Public Information and Disney Enterprises, and was co-hosted by Kathy Lee Gifford.” http://j.mp/ogR6ra
The question becomes, what is a “friend?” I believe that the meaning of the word “friend” is a subjective one and subject to interpretation. Some people are “friends” with everyone that they meet, and as Aristotle notes “a friend to all is a friend to none.”  On the other hand, for others, a friendship is a close, personal relationship that is based on, among other things, trust, acceptance and love.  For these people, the word “friend” is not used loosely, as it is, with the exception of family, their most essential relationship. I fall into the latter group, and as a surprise, even to me, I’ve discovered that a genuine friendship can also be fostered between those with whom I’ve never even met face to face.  

No one will argue that the internet provides us an opportunity to maintain and foster our relationship with family and friends.  Yet, it also serves as a forum to meet other like-minded individuals, and to form relationships. Through both e-courses, as well as social communities, I have been fortunate to meet people with whom I otherwise would never have met, and in some cases, I enjoy genuine budding friendships.  

Ideally, our friends should be celebrated every day and not on a designated day of the year.  
Celebrated in what way, you may ask? A gift, a card, or flowers? Of course, those are all well and good, but I suspect that a heartfelt “thank you for being my friend,” would be more memorable and appreciated. 

To my friends: You are a blessing to me and I love you and thank you for being, and oh yes, thank you for being my friend.

Blessings and love, lydia
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