Belonging, once so important, is fading with age. I want my belongings warm and fuzzy. If not, I abandon them. Younger, I would have stuck them out, but not to gain healthy introspection. Back in the day belonging was born out of desperate need. As to where desperate went, I will save my conjectures for another time.
When in the process of joining something new, I engage in a memory of a past belonging. An almost forgotten scene arrives in my mind. Not only with personalities, but with warm and fuzzy enzymes that provide the comforts of acceptance. So powerful are these belongings that they can simultaneously feed my need for community and my desire not to be alone.
A most important memory of belonging is family. When I was living at home as a boy and received an invitation to dinner, it is not the food I remember as much as the attentions from which I was called. I was most always engaged in a creative moment and it is these moments I bring back inclusive of the familiar voice of my mother saying, “Bob, dinner is ready.”
Offering me her best and on a consistent schedule provided me a time when I could be at the top rung of Maslow’s pyramid of needs. My needs of basic necessity well provided, I was not only fed in body, but in soul.
My mother, an excellent cook, presented an attractive table, inclusive of table cloth and cloth napkins. She always had a center piece which frequently included fresh flowers and lit candles. Our conversations were friendly and engaging. All of this I thought normal.
Unfortunately, puberty arrived and upset our pyramid of needs. Normal was trumped by natural and for this my mother and I proved ill equipped.