Cultures collide or Five minute Friday: Belong

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**I’m linking this post from Wednesday up to Lisa-Jo’s Five Minute Friday prompt: Belong. And while it did take more than five minutes, I can’t think of another way to write about belonging than to say this…

I suppress the urge to say “Danke” every day. I suppress my “Ja” and “Nein” and the ingrained instinct to constantly shush people in public. The Swiss are so very quiet. They shush people on the train and at the cinema with alarming regularity. My kids are now the quietest American children you’ve ever met. I can’t complain.

We Americans move and shout and talk louder than I remember. We’re more prone to dropping profanity in heightened conversation with little ears listening, but that might just be my Jersey talking. We talk big and eat big and shop BIG. We consume, and so much of our food/entertainment/cheap goods aren’t worth consuming. The amount of advertising for new products overwhelms me after three years of limited commercial interruptions. So does the cereal aisle.

Despite this, it is good to be here. Here is home, right down to my very bones. This northeastern earth is the dirt I can’t scrub out from underneath my fingernails. It’s sweltering summer days and red-tipped leaves burning like fire throughout autumn. It’s winter white and chartreuse spring, and it is where I feel most free, most me. It’s wrapped itself into the double helix strands of my DNA.

We move into our house next week, and I will set about making it into a home. I will stock the shelves and make the beds and overcook our dinners. I will consume like the good American I am, but I will start with the peaches and cream sunset sky. I will collect the flowers from the garden, and gather the fallen leaves from the ground. I will pluck the stars from the sky. I will make mounds of the earth, filling up on the sweetness of the soil. And the taste of it will linger.

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Thanks so much for reading here today. I’d love to know what patch of earth makes you feel as if you belong?

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