The experience of hanging out with family is a ritual we all know for Easter....my family is ALWAYS my children and my sisters, parents and the men in my life...yet this year my family experience came at arriving home in a country I have never set foot in before....Wales....
When I was a child my aunt Winnie, who was born in Wales, had a dictionary of Welsh on her coffee table. I remember being VERY young and desperately leafing through it trying to figure out how to count in Welsh...I knew I did not have much time before we left and then I would have to wait until the next visit. I remember having to go to the beginning and reading the key that explained how to do the pronunciations for each vowel and consenant.
I know I made it to pump...number "five" before it was time to go...and Aunt Winnie, who I suddenly realized was pleased...gave me the book. I have moved alot in the last 5 years, but I know exactly where my Welsh dictionary is at this moment in my house in the Santa Cruz mountains. I really have ALWAYS wantedto be here more then any OTHER place on earth...after marrying a Welshman in my twenties...the two of us filled our home with Welsh coutryside linens and tea towels as well as posters of green Welsh hillsides.
But this Easter started off with me wishing a group of carbinieri (officers of some sort), "Buona Pasqua" as a Happy Easter when they helped me figure out the ATM was out of cash and that it wasn't a problem with my card.
After scurrying through hectic airports in Munich and Heathrow London, I was doubly impressed to have familiar faces to greet me when we got out of the luggage gathering zone....there was Pat and Kerry..my kin from Wales!! I wanted to cry then but I knew that they would probably be more embarassd then I was at my outward show of affection for them.
Driving through the English countryside on the way to Wales with Pat and Kerry chattering in that cheery Welsh way I gaped lovingly out the window at hedgerows of trees between fat VERY happy looking cows and pig huts that were circular and dotted hillsides...Spencer startled us all by realizing that Kerry's steering wheel was on the wrong side of the car...he was worried no one was actually driving! I think that was when it hit him we were also driving on the wrong side of the road!
Later, after laughing together with the SAME EXACT sense of humor that has always been a tad off in California...I realized, my family's sense of humor is Welsh...I was eating my Easter dinner at a lovely table surrounded by people I was proud to feel so at home with...they talked about exactly what I was interested in, ate and dressed like I felt comfortable with and seemed like shadows of family I have always known.
Oddly, though I missed my family back home so much during the Easter day, I can honestly say that this was my favorite and happiest Easter ever....I LOVE WALES and my peeps inside of it!!