This past Sunday I was invited to my sister’s boyfriend’s bestfriend’s baby’s first birthday party. I know that sounds like a complicated, distance connection at best and yet from the moment I walked into the party, I was made to feel like family. Everyone from the grandmas to the 2nd cousins to the childhood best friends welcomed me with open arms and lots of laughter. We chased after balloons, scrambled over jungle gyms, ate delicious homemade curries, coloured with crayons, talked politics and racism, drank boozy drinks, argued over sports, and played with kids on a sugar-high! I spent the day thinking about how much I’ve come to love and appreciate big families. The large families that I have been lucky enough to know always seem to be so hospitable, so welcoming. No matter how many people are at the table, they always make room for more. More people, more food, more conversation, more love.
As I’ve said, I had been feeling particularly bad of late. Lonely. Bored. Lost. Listless. Hopeless. But spending the day celebrating the adorableness of a wide-eyed, giggling, sparkly-dress-wearing 1-year-old, it is really hard to stay sad. I was surrounded by love, hope, excitement and youthful enthusiasm. For a little while I completely forgot my own problems and embraced the positive energy. I won’t pretend that once I left the warm circle of family I wasn’t once again sad and lonely but for a few hours I was perfectly happy. In some ways I felt I had forgotten what it felt like to be happy. I wake up sad and lonely. I go to sleep sad and lonely. But on Sunday, I wasn’t either of those things and I felt really, really good. Turns out it is hard to feel alone when on your lap is a warm body, with huge brown eyes that laughs maniacally at peekaboo and makes you remember how beautiful this world can be.
So today I say yes to hope. To big, loud, loving families. To bright moments in a time of darkness.
And I also say thank you – for allowing me to be part of it.
What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.