Home is a feeling, more so than a place. Well, I think family is a feeling, too. I've always said that friends are family you get to pick for yourself, but sometimes it's really amazing how much more like family friends can feel than the family that fate has placed you with. This was really brought home to me in multiple ways today. I met some wonderful people for the first time, and one of the women reached out to me in a gesture that quite literally brought tears to my eyes. It was just such an honestly kind-hearted gesture and completely unexpected, immediately following a really unpleasant (though mostly private - I took the call outside as soon as I realized where it was headed) conversation with someone who is family.
People like Ms. Terri, Mr. John, Sam, and Katie. People like the generous, nurturing lady I met today and her family. People like my friend Ry, whose only complaint when I talked to her about coming over at 11 o'clock at night to borrow some space in her rabbit barn (the reason for is a story which I would rather just keep to myself) was that I didn't have an overnight bag with me. People like my friend Aleta whose door is likewise always open, as well as her ears and heart. My new and new-found brothers, who really haven't spent enough time in my life to warrant such concern have nonetheless shown concern and compassion in matters big and small.
These people teach me what family feels like. It makes me amazed, because I am not really one to look for or expect the good in people. It makes me happy, because it really feels wonderful to have people genuinely care about you and to not enter or leave an encounter with a sense of dread and disquiet. But there are times, too, where it feels slightly bittersweet. It's not that I don't appreciate the love that I'm suddenly finding in my life. Not at all. It's simply that -- well, I guess it's like seeing something in the light for the first time. In the dark, what you have might look just fine, but when someone brings a candle in, you see it wasn't really so nice at all. You just couldn't tell the difference. I'm finding candles everywhere lately, it seems, and some of the corners of my world that are being illuminated are not nearly so nice in the light.