I am in America, here to do a pre-marriage course ("Engaged Encounter"; it involves comparing experiences with other Catholic engaged couples) with my American bride-to-be. I don't imagine I will be blogging till I return on Tuesday.
I had a strange and uplifting experience touching down in America. (I flew in through Philadelphia Airport.) In my previous American trips, I've really been straining to spot the differences between Ireland and America-- motivated partly, I have to admit, through a fear that developed Western countries barely differ from each other at all any more. Perhaps inevitably, I didn't spot as many differences as I hoped to.
This time around my mind was on other things and I wasn't self-consciously trying to "get" America. But-- for that very reason, I think-- the sense of being "back in the USA" almost overwhelmed me when I stepped off the plane.
It's not any particular thing. It's not a set of things. It's everything. I even think it's mostly in the things you don't notice, or that you barely notice.
The experience has cheered me up no end. Greetings from Richmond, Virginia!