Time-Warp and Soul and Friends
This Sunday, I replaced a burst tire on a scoot bike for my two year-old. A friend at work generously gave it to me. It involved a small amount of sweat, some strategy, and a little skill. After I carried the little bike up into our second floor flat, my son beamed and hopped as he chanted, “My bike. My bike.” Carefully balancing him on the bike, I pushed him back and forth through the living room and dining room. His sense of excitement did not dim. Sometimes a friend appears in an unexpected place with an unasked for gift. This shook my consciousness just enough to open a crack for a new perspective to work its way into my mind.
Later in the park across the street from my house, a free concert drew hundreds of listeners. I was struck by the turn-out as well as the planning of the city of Lakewood that makes events and uses of public space a priority. A strong sense of community flowed from the gathering. The crowd included grandparents with walkers down to children in strollers and my baby in my arms. Opportunities for soul and roots are liable to pop up at any time. A strange feeling of witnessing a piece of American nostalgia hovered in the back of my mind as a Souza March bounced down from the band-shell and washed over the crowd. The nostalgia lent the event a sense of purpose not a sense of backwardness.
Finally, at the close of the evening a college friend called. He asked some insightful questions and helped me strengthen my commitment to be more open to forming roots of my own and holding myself accountable for making choices that increase the soul in my own life. The word “friend” peppered the conversation that lasted several hours. I felt challenged to work discovering and creating what I wanted rather than hunting for it in travel. Travel, while enriching, does not erase the weaknesses the traveler brings in his own soul.
Travel helps me be open to people. In the routine of daily life, work, and family it is easy for me to walk past people and hard to take the time to hear about the people and things that give meaning to their lives. Also, a clueless traveler is often afforded a courtesy and people may share with them what they may not share with a neighbor. Maybe a traveler is given the benefit of the doubt precisely because their travel acts as in indicator of open-ness to their culture and life. Maybe cross-cultural travelers are forgiven for breaking the normal boundaries of curiosity. Who knows?
So how do I cultivate my sense of travelers open-ness at home?
How do I nurture a welcoming personality that lets people know I will value what they share even if and especially if their view and life is different than mine?
Do I create a space that allows for sharing without placing my demands or expectations on others?
Do I make the effort to engage with others who share these interests with me or do I keep my interests to myself?
Strong questions for someone who prides himself on being mindful and open to others.
Any thoughts or tips?...I am humbling waiting.
In this light I would like to share a link with a good family travel blog I found...