Tuesday Thoughts 06-30-09

August 25, 2007

O’Hare International Airport

After 8 months in Southeast Asia, I returned to the US and my family for a short vacation.  Everyone around me was speaking English and smiling as I struggled to comprehend the reality of coming back.  I kept saying to myself over and over, “I’m home.  I’m going home.  I’m home…” but my heart felt strangely detached, as if I was once again dreaming of familiar places and not wanting to wake up. 

I was riding the train between the international and domestic terminals when I glanced out the window over a parking lot.  And saw the flag.  In that moment, everything else faded; the were no colors as bold or bright as the red, white and blue in the sunshine. Tears filled my eyes as I experienced a feeling of belonging for the first time in months.  That flag informed my heart that I’d returned to my country, to my people and to my home.  I haven’t been able to look at a flag the same way since then.

‘Tis the star-spangled banner, O long may it wave!

~Francis Scott Key

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