Last Saturday I was at a great show of Wendy McNeill. Her new album is full of migration stories: Sicilians coming to New Jersey, English orphanages coming to Canada, Curds running fro the poison gas attack. It kept me busy. And this morning I realized, that Christmas is about migration too!
Mary and Joseph had to travel to Bethlehem to get registered. They were not welcome, no one wanted to help them. One guy offered them a shed, used for animals. It’s not so different from how we in the West treat refugees today. After all closed doors, Joseph and Mary did get some help, unexpectedly, from shepherds and from three wise men from the east, strangers too. The migration continued when they had to take refugee in Egypt.
Moving to another city or country is not the only kind of migration. Every big change is some kind of migration. Moving up (or down) the social ladder is a form of migration too. Becoming successful is for artists the most wanted form of migration. And just like any migration, it comes with loneliness and rejection. It’s difficult to keep in touch with family and old friends when migrating, they don’t understand. And you need all your energy to adjust to the new environment, trying to make new friends when no one is really waiting for you, when no one is welcoming you.
You can plan your migration to perfection, it will always surprise you with unexpected hurdles, and also with unexpected help. That’s what the Christmas story tells me. Often help comes when you need it most and don’t expect it anymore.