I knew returning home was going to be an enlightening experience, but I never imagined to what extent. Neither did I envision that I wouldn’t be the only one experiencing my return.
My family and friends, especially the ones who didn’t see me for over a decade, have been saying similar things: “You’ve changed Magaly.” “You are so different.” “You sound… weird.”
Every time a comment was made, I responded the same way: “Of course I’ve changed. I’m older.” To which they would add, “No, it’s something else.” I didn’t argue with them, but a little voice in my head kept on saying trust me, I’m just older.
Then the other day, during a morning run with my cousin, I realized that I was wrong. I noticed that there was something different about my cousin too. Yes, she is also older than she was 10 years ago, but time had nothing to do with the change. What I noticed in my cousin was pure spiritual growth. Could that be what others have seeing in me?
My cousin and I were raised Catholic. I became Pagan during my teen years and my cousin started following the Adventist path a few years back. We’ve talked since then, but we haven’t spent any quality time with each other. Ten minutes or so after we started running I told her, “You are different…” I caught myself and chuckled before adding, “You have grown spiritually. I like it.”
We discussed our religious beliefs and how they have affected our worldviews. Also, how they have helped us become people we really like. An hour later, I walked my cousin home and went back for another run. I had too many thoughts in my mind and they demanded to be sorted out.
I ran, thinking how am I different? A torrent of familiar thoughts rushed into my mind: me sitting in front of a lake in
Flushing Meadows Corona Park,
waiting for the sunrise. The regret I felt as I apologized to the oak I once
scarred with the initials of people it never heard of. I thought about the joy
filling my heart when the morning rain kissed my face and I thanked the gods
for the refreshing blessing. My happiness when I think about the fact that I’m,
well… so happy to be Pagan.
Has any event in your life made you come to similar realizations about your own spirituality?