The other day while I was receiving acupuncture treatment and as I laid there listening to traditional Chinese folk music playing in the background, I was overwhelmed with a profound sadness. It was strange for there was no reason for me to be sad. I wasn’t sad when I woke up that morning or when I walked into the clinic but there, laying on my back listening to the sorrowful Chinese music, I became sad. A deep longing settled into my heart, a longing for home. Now, I’m not Chinese nor have I ever visited China or have any connection to China (but I do study Tai Chi and Qigong), but as I laid there, I could see in my mind’s eye a mystical landscape with temples, rivers, bamboo forests, Taoist and Buddhist monks. And then I saw the Silk Road and thought of Marco Polo and I saw how that road led all the way back to Europe. I became home sick.

When I was done with my treatment and as my doctor was removing the needles, I asked her; “do you miss China?” My Chinese doctor was quick to answer, “yes!”. Then she said; “I miss all my family and friends. I miss all the activities and family gatherings and I especially miss the food.” She went on; “people are different in China, more friendly then here in Canada. If you were to go to a park you would see many people doing tai chi or qigong and they would welcome you to join them.” I feel more alone in Canada.  

I thought about this all day and I understand her feelings. Something opened up to me in that clinic room, do I dare call it a mystical experience? Actually, I do. I had a longing for another place, for home. Not my home in Michigan but another home, another time. It was a longing for the past and I mean this on a grand scale. I became homesick for my mom, my dad, my sister, my aunts and uncles and cousins. I too miss my mom’s cooking, the holiday gatherings, Christmas, Easter, Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Thanksgiving. I missed the Catholic church and the presence of God in my life. I missed as a young boy stopping into my church on my way home from school to sit in the shadowed silence, inhaling the lingering fragrance of incense, watching the flickering lights of the votive candles and the shadows dancing on the walls and becoming lost in the whole ambiance of the moment. This is what I missed, this far off country, what J.R.R Tolkien called “The Cottage of Lost Play”. I miss the past when life was simple, meaningful and where there was something greater than yourself. Where there were others who loved you and cared for you.

I don’t like where I find myself today, in a world of hate, godlessness, insanity, a world hell bent on destroying the past and history and tradition, a world unable to define what a man or a woman is and that mutilates young children to change their sex and encourages the mentally ill to commit suicide. I don’t recognize this world. I don’t belong here and I don’t even know how I got here. It’s like I went to sleep last night in one world that was sane and loving and woke up this morning in a totally crazy world. I long for the old world where tradition, religion, patriotism and the past meant something. I long for a world that is right, true and beautiful but each day this world drifts further and further away it seems and this is why I was sad when I left the clinic the other day. I long for the past world before March 2019. The world before September 2001. The world before October 1991. The world before December 1965 that began the whole collapse of Western Civilization that we are witnessing today. But there is no going back, life is an ever-flowing river that carries us into the future. One day, (I’m afraid this will be sooner than later), I will return home and I will see once again all my loved ones and I will no longer be sad or have any more longings and with the Grace of God I will enjoy eternal bliss.

St. Raymond Catholic Church Detroit Michigan.

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