When dealing with the perils of travelling the world in 80 days, Phileas Fogg said “This is what happens when you leave home. You meet… people.” It is people that help us define who we are, and when people are in transit, they become more fluid, more adaptable, and more willing to embrace the possibilities of life. This is the perfect catalyst for change, and indeed, change was a motivating factor in our decision to travel.
Back in the land in which I grew up, I could see that it too had changed. People were older. Buildings had aged. New buildings had been constructed. And as I looked around and could see all the change on the surface, I could see the things underneath that remained unchangeable. As we all evolve, we also hold truer to some core of our beings, becoming more of the people we always were.
I was in the unique position of seeing my parents in the sunset of their life, being in the mid-day of mine, with children of my own. I could finally see what I did not growing up. The decisions people make are tempered by their own unique viewpoint, and the culmination of events within and beyond their control. To judge them without being in their exact position is tragic.
I gained a new appreciation for my parents, and realized that as important as everything may seem, it is all, as they say in India, Maya, illusion. It is only love that matters, and we must each of us see through that veil to find our way home.