I opened my eyes and I was still dreaming.
I thought of the visit I had with a cousin last night. I played back the chat I had with my uncle the day before when he dropped by. I was reminded of another cousin who stopped in last week and then called again this week. A few phone calls from a few different aunts, a text conversation with yet another cousin and another phone call from one more cousin ...
And this was all within the past few weeks.
I have lived in this Fine City for half of my lifetime now. I remember when this location spoke to me twenty seven years ago, it was because I was nestled right in the middle of my own family. One sister to the east; another sister to the north; my mom and brother to the west. I felt like I was smack dab in the middle of everyone.
Twenty seven years later, I know that I am truly living exactly where I've always wanted to be.
I have forged connections with my family that make it feel light and right and easy to pick up the phone, open the door, check my email or receive a text and find family right at my fingertips.
I could probably say this all happened because of two little books.
Stepping out of my comfort zone and stepping into Mom and Dad's families to collect memories, stories and a piece of their history has made me fell like a small piece in this very large puzzle called family.
I invited myself into the lives of my family and I have been welcomed with open arms. I can't believe this has happened to me - a person who barely spoke as a child and lived life on the fringes, wishing someone would invite me in to 'play'.
The best part of all of the above is that I don't think I've sacrificed anything to be open to receive this gift of family.
My relationships with my own siblings and mom are stronger than they have ever been (at least it seems that way to me). And though my own children have reached and/or are on the cusp of the age of independence and we don't sit down and revel in family togetherness on a regular basis, there is harmony among my own little family-of-four. We like each other (for the most part) and enjoy each other's company (usually). My own little family is 'young', we have a lot of years to grow and we have a good foundation under our feet so I can only see good things headed our way.
Ten years ago, if you had asked me what I thought my dream life would look like, I would have probably listed things like: a good marriage; a good job; financial security; no debt; contentment and peace of mind.
Today, I can say I have attained almost none of those goals, except the two that count.
I am content. My heart is happy and full. I want for nothing that money can buy because I am rich in all that truly matters to me and all that money can't buy.
I have peace of mind. I can sleep at night (and most any time during the day as well) knowing I feel like I am 'doing the best I can, with what I have'. I wake up each morning with light and easy thoughts wafting through my head.
I feel like I am making a small impact within my world. I feel 'connected' to the world outside of my head, my home and my family.
I feel like one piece of this gazillion piece puzzle that is 'the universe'. And I feel like I fit. I am exactly where I am meant to be within this great world of ours.
I am but one tiny star within the galaxy. There are millions all around me, each shining just as bright. But this morning? I just woke up with the twinkle of that light shining down upon the life-I-am-living, reminding me that this is a very charmed and special life I am living.
"If you build it ... they will come"
~ from the movie A Field of Dreams
I must have built something grand. Because they came! They really came!! I am truly living in a field of dreams. Maybe I am the daughter of a farmer after all ...