Every heart needs a place to call home. Where did I come from? Where did it all begin and when? Hushed whispers in our mind place an ongoing curiosity about our ancestors. Each person who blazed the trail to America form pieces of a puzzle; with clues of who we are. During our childhood we do not have concerns about genetics or heredity. Our family circle security includes parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.
Gnawing questions about our family background usually arise in our mid life time span, as we face our own frailty. We wonder if we will leave behind any mark on society; did we really accomplish anything of lasting value?
Another common reason that a spark of interest in our family heritage ignites is a growing appreciation of relationships with family and friends. The only citizens of the United States tracing their roots to the native soil are our American Indians. Europe is where my genealogy story began.
Family history is more than a hobby. To many around the globe it is an unquenchable thirst for family knowledge. I share in that excitement in part, because of my husband’s deep involvement. He began his information gathering about twelve years ago. It led him to closeness with relatives he never even knew.
Now, he organizes the annual family reunions. History as well as current information is shared in his family newsletters on Davis Buzz Internet site: normdavis.org. Our Davis family line likely traces back to England and Ireland. His search continues hoping to one day discover the parents identity of his great, great, great grandfather, Loughton Davis.
As a young girl in school we were asked what nationalities were included in our families. Asking Mom she quickly responded: “English, Irish, French, and Dutch.” That creates a patch quilt representation of Europe. It would be fascinating to learn the circumstances leading to the relocation risks of our first settlers.
It is said “You can take the man out of the country; but you can’t take the country out of the man.” That truth is demonstrated and revealed with traditions and customs of Europe now shared in small towns and large cities across our nation. Some holiday traditions are explained to each generation and respected. To carry on these observances is a way to honor our ancestors and our heritage. Sadly some customs have lost their true meaning and are now just meaningless habits. Maybe it is time to unlock those mysteries as Americans.
Europe’s appeal to tourists has been a magnet for centuries. The sights, sounds and fragrances in each country are unique and varied. In America we have sampled those delicacies from our great melting pot. The blending of spices in a favorite recipe brings out a zesty flavor. The mixing of styles of music, literature and artwork from Europe is transported to us. It creates a fresh new specialty.
When certain arts are held separate such as a great Italian Opera or a French Ballet we are transported straight back to Europe. Our two countries linked as allies through the tragedy of wars that marred their landscape, and scarred the lives of soldiers. Today we face common challenges against terrorism and economic crisis. I hope our trials will strengthen old relationships and build new ones. Remember, every heart needs a place to call home. Many hearts beat with memories of Europe.