Yesterday, we traveled a couple of hours for my husband’s naturalization ceremony, which was held in Macon at the Museum of Arts and Sciences.

MAS doesn’t usually host, but Executive Director Susan Welsh was eager to after organizing an exhibit earlier in the year dedicated to the Lost Mural of Ellis Island, which is a replica of a 1938 mural installed in the Ellis Island ‘aliens’ dining hall, paired with educational programming about genealogy, citizenship and immigration.

The Lost Mural of Ellis Island, recreated by Andrew Sabori.  

It was a beautiful day and strangely cool for an August morning.  Inside the museum there was a happy, low-key buzz of energy.

Naturalization papers and small American flags were handed to 74 new U.S. citizens who hailed from 31 different countries, including Morocco, India, Mexico, China, Ecuador and New Guinea.  Luis was the only from Cuba.

After the ceremony the local chapter of The Colonial Dames, a national organization dedicated to historic preservation, patriotic service and educational projects, offered drinks and slices of flag cake to honorees and their families.

“You really learn a lot about your own country going to these kinds of things,” I overheard an American woman tell her friend as television and print media journalists interviewed new citizens in the central gathering area.  

But it was a man and woman on the periphery, just outside the front door, who held a long, close hug that grabbed my attention.  There was a journey in that hug and one that I’ll never know, but it spoke profoundly in its quiet gesture.

On a side note, Happy Birthday to my blog, which turns 1 today.  

This blog has taken me on my own journey, opening unexpected personal and professional doors.  I am proud and grateful.

Playing in the lightbox at MAS

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