It first hit me on the weekend, on Saturday. I was sitting on a picnic blanket with Barclay in a field. We'd snuck off between the ceremony and reception to do a quick run-through of our songs; he had his guitar and I was laying there on the ground with my feet out of my shoes just being quiet, letting him work through a tricky part. We could hear the gathering crowd just a little further down the hill, and we could hear the wind above the trees, but everything and everyone very respectfully left us alone.
Then, a few hours later, I found myself on a different picnic blanket between two of my good friends. We were laughing really hard, and I can't remember what it was about. Something somebody said, or probably the chubby toddler who was running around sneaking drinks from strangers' cups. And there was that feeling again.
Again the next morning, sitting in church, and again afterward at my in-laws' house. I found the feeling yesterday morning in a hug, and in a text message conversation with someone I haven't seen in a long time, and I remembered it from a phone call I had on Friday. And last night, I figured it out.It was Liz's birthday this weekend, on Saturday, so last night a few girls came over to help her celebrate. We made a weak attempt at a British tea party (except that Liz doesn't like tea very much, so we had to trade out tea for punch). We stuck feathers in our hair in place of fancy hats and ate scones with jam and peach-apple crisp and cucumber sandwiches cut into stars and triangles and we put our pinkies up as we drank our blueberry punch out of ornate teacups we borrowed from Kiersten's mom. And we watched The Curse of Mr. Bean, the one where he goes to the swimming pool (to add some British humour to the evening).
Somewhere in there, I figured out the name of the feeling. The feeling of Belonging, to a group or to a person or to a family, has been following me around.