The Sunday Picnic
There was a pavilion to enhance the atmosphere
The Sunday Picnic
It was the day when we were invited for a Sunday picnic. We were told there would be just a few people but in fact there were more than I thought and everyone was nice. Most came from another place. We had a barbecue and enjoyed our afternoon. The weather was excellent. There was a pavilion to enhance the atmosphere. It was a quiet and nice place. After we chatted with a few people whom we had met for the first time, we took our leave and thanked the host. Our car was in the parking lot; we departed. My wife was driving and we were both silent for a while.
This small excursion reminded me of the day when I made a daytrip to my native town in Tunisia. My friend, a cultivated and very caring Tunisian, who drove the car for this short visit, looked at me in astonishment, as if I was coming out of a sanctuary or a holy place. We were just about to leave my home town and drive back to the capital.
He kept looking at my eyes as if he had just discovered something new in my face.
Then he said, “You are ok? Du you want to drink something?”
In fact I felt like I woke up from a deep dream which filled me with a new energy of love due to what I just experienced in that dream. In reality I was not dreaming at all, I felt exactly what I felt when I was living in the village when I was a boy, age ten. I could not divulge to my friend the soft and sweet feeling I just experienced. These were my own feelings which I just grasped and my experience which I saw.
All the people I once knew before leaving my town were alive with us and seemed like they were in me all the time. I could see them one by one, the neighbors, the school friends, the villagers, the peasants. I also felt that our village was within me, even after I opted for new lands and new skies.
Those feelings will always be with us as long as we live. In fact, all these people, the village and all the things that we once saw and all the experiences that we have lived, no one can see them. We are the only ones who can feel and revive the experience we had during our childhood. These experiences will be the only ones that guide us. We can read about experiences of other people but only our own experience can help us in life.
Copyright 2011 Emile Tubiana