Kassandra worried about her friend Sasha. She could see the quality of frantic searching underneath Sasha’s quest for an apartment, and for David’s attention. Although Sasha had been staying with Kassandra, they had not really talked about anything important. Every time Kassandra reached out, suggesting a long chat over coffee or a meal, Sasha begged off, or came up with an excuse at the last minute.
It prompted Kassandra to a deeper level of gratitude for her own life. Although she was saddened and challenged to accept how little her parents understood her, and although she could occasionally be blindsided by a wave of panic about her long-term future, most of her days were filled with things and people she loved: her art, her friends, her customers at the coffee shop.
A story came on the news as Kassandra prepared for another shift. A reporter told an agonizing tale of people forced to flee their homes due to horrific violence, their trek across hostile lands, their struggles to keep their families together, often carrying small children for hundreds of miles, and the uncertainty they faced of ever finding a truly safe place to live.
The story brought Kassandra to tears. But for the grace of the place in which she was born, but for the universe’s random assignment of parents with means to raise her in a safe environment, such a story could be her own. How would she behave if she found herself on the run? How would she survive? Would she?
Kassandra pictured Sasha as a refugee from her own emotional life. Her old friend was on a different kind of agonizing journey, seeking safety and comfort, failing to find it. Sasha trekked across the hostile land of her inner terrors, and without trivializing the plight of refugees from war and violence, Kassandra saw how Sasha’s journey mirrored that awful feeling of being homeless.
I’ve found my place where I belong, Kassandra thought, in a world where so many people are still searching for theirs.