Xhorxhina Ndoka

Home is not where you are from; it is where you belong. Some of us travel the whole world to find it. Others find it in a person. There dwells a place in the heart of Europe where life is noisy and people are consistently in a hurry. Between the stoplights and white lines in the asphalt, there are always crowds of people who frequently look at their watches and grumble out of discontent. There are also folks who loudly discourse with their work assistants about their daily goals, and there are students whose amusement softens the tension of the early mornings. Walking on the sidewalk, there are lines of bakery shops where people stand, sipping their espresso and biting into their soft brioche. It is not uncommon to hear “Grazie, signora” or “Buongiorno, bella” in the midst of all the chaos. Home: it is about experiencing freedom in a specific setting, acknowledging the intensity of the creation, and connecting in the community. The cool daylight breeze gently caresses my face, while giving me the pleasure of feeling alive … I pass through the security checks and go on the top of Dumo Cathedral at the altitude of 108.5 meters. Still gazing in that view, I try to observe each tiny detail of the city and piece of art. Each little slant of that church, each little tablet of the streets, each breath of air fills me with an aura of peace. I can finally taste freedom, I can hear the loud melody that my heart plays, I can feel an energy wrapping me up, and I can see the wonderful creation inspired by God and conveyed through people … There are many motorcycles around and most of the people would explain it as an easier option for parking. I see it as a hidden, juvenile desire to embrace the freedom of the senses. I see how they all enjoy their drinks and laugh with another’s jokes. I see how openness and radiance allows people to connect. There is no shyness or complexity that exclude people from bonding. I see that there are no taboos or judgments, but certainly there is life! I see how equality makes people want to thrive and live the way they desire. I see how acceptance boosts one’s self-esteem, and I absolutely see how smiling is contagious. I look at the reflection of the sunset in the river, and I just wonder how lucky they are. They can enjoy the best things of life for free! They don’t need drinks, or cigarettes, or expensive tickets to live a good, costless life. In essence, home is where your heart is, but moreover, a woman’s home is the world! I know that my world is not made of taboos, sexism, analphabetism, judgment, or any kind of moral prison. Home is indeed a family, a community, a setting that provides all the opportunities to be ourselves. Traditionally, a home would be a permanent residence but there are places and people that we encounter rarely, yet they make a huge impact on us. I miss the smell of fresh, homemade spaghetti, the engine sound of the motorcycles, the sense of energy that each emotional Italian would explode with, but I mostly miss the emotions I would experience once I saw them smiling. Home it is about experiencing freedom in a specific setting, acknowledging the intensity of the creation, and connecting in the community where I can be all that I want to be.

Contributing Writer

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