I am remembering and have a desire to share with you, a beautiful story told to me by a young lady. It was the end of the World War II and her dad was returning home. He came from a very close network of Italian families that lived near each other in New Jersey.
He had a ride back from where his ship had docked. Of course he was filled with emotion as he came closer and closer to home. Suddenly, about five miles from home, he asked to be dropped off. He had decided to walk the last few miles himself and give himself time to emotionally "arrive". He wanted to savor every moment of coming home! This was a time to feel the essence of the town he came from, to savor pleasant memories of growing up as he walked and to allow his anticipation to build even further. Every step took him closer to friends and loved ones! He looked at every tree. He enjoyed every house he passed. He didn't even feel the weight of his duffel bag flung over his shoulder. He took his time walking. His parents knew that he was coming home soon, but they didn't know exactly when. Thank G-d he was alive! That knowledge was enough to sustain them.
Meanwhile, as he walked several people recognized him. Some called out "hello" and several ran up to him and hugged him. He was offered rides, but refused. However, behind closed doors the magic began. As he passed by these people, the news was quickly transmitted on the telephone that he was coming! Joe's son was home from the war. Pass the word. And they did.
By the time he got down to his street the street was filled with friends and family waiting for him. Would you believe several hundred? People shouted and clapped. He was hugged and kissed. His bag was taken from him. Everyone wanted to be near him. "Make room for Joe and Rosie! For goodness sake, let them get near their own son!" He literally had to work his way through the crowd of neighbors and other relatives to fall into the arms of his mom and dad. How good it felt to be held again by the two people who loved him so much! And where was that pretty young woman that he meant to look up now that he was home? Oh, well, that would have to wait at least one more day. The rest of today was filled with fresh Italian foods, wine, hugs, stories and a place to come home too.
What a beautiful story. We all need a place to come home to--a place to be loved, to feel connected and with purpose. In The Enchanted Self I teach about belonging to tribes and how important it is. I even feel the energy of the tribe that this young man belonged to and I wasn't there. The positive energy was so strong that it not only filled his granddaughter--and could still be transmitted to me--and I hope to you.
He needed his tribe and his tribe needed him. He needed his time to re-enter. The energies connecting him and his tribe were so strong that he could not just be dropped off. He had to re-enter slowly at first and prepared himself for the intensity of connection. His tribe likewise prepared itself by a wonderful signal system--smoke coming up in puffs on the desert. The system worked so well that by the time he arrived a celebration was already up and running.
Tribes are our gift to ourselves. They offer us a gateway so we can come back again and again. They offer us a signal system so that the important things are transmitted in a timely fashion, and they offer us the welcoming arms that help us belong, feel appreciated and have a place. May each of us have the gift of the right tribes in our lives.
About The Author
Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, originator of THE ENCHANTED SELF®, a method of bringing delight and meaning into everyday living, invites you to view her new line of ENCHANTED WOMAN products, downloadable e-books, and free gifts at http://www.enchantedself.com. Chat with others in Dr. Holstein's e-group, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/encself/join, and sign up for her free e-group at www.enchantedself.com. Order her book, THE ENCHANTED SELF: A Positive Therapy, or the CD-rom or tape version and her book RECIPES FOR ENCHANTMENT: The Secret Ingredient is YOU!, or the ED-rom version, at http://www.enchantedself.com/ordering/ordering.htm.