Welcome Home

I recently challenged myself to stop fearing young men that walk around our neighborhood. Surely some of them are gang members, where else would all the tagging come from? I could assume that every young man between 14 and 30 that I don't know is a gang member and wishes to hurt me or my family. Truly, what are the odds of that? Instead, I will view them as I do other strangers that I pass along my path. In those cases, if our eyes meet, I usually smile and acknowledge them as an equal.
The kids and I had just returned from our month long vacation. My husband decorated the car in shoe polish with welcoming messages for each of us. I had not yet washed
the car and was pulling to the end of our street. A twenty something in a white tank and long blue gym shorts strutted down the sidewalk toward me. There was a slot in between cars that would allow me to safely pull out. It could appear rude to zip out before he reached the intersection. I sat still, smiled, and waved him across as he approached the road. As soon as we made eye contact, he smiled exuberantly and yelled, "welcome home!" He continued smiling and waving at me sincerely as he walked past. I thought of that kind and fun connection all thru my day. I pause here to think about how mundane that moment would have been had I sat in fear without looking at him, or if I had zipped out onto the main road out of fear of him get too close to my car as he crossed the street.
Life is connection. I love the message I received from him that day! I think being home is more than walking thru our front door. It's opening to the possibility that home exists beyond our threshold. We just need to be aware enough, and brave enough to step out.