Tradition–My Favorite Part of Europe
I have been blessed with the opportunity to live in, teach in, and travel extensively through Europe over the last twenty years. Anyone who has lived in Europe, has ever traveled its parameters, or even visited briefly has experienced the incredible variety, striking characteristics, and history-driven culture that exists on that continent.
What never fails to escape me is European tradition. Good or bad, easy or difficult, it thrives in that part of the world. Whether one attends a bullfight in Spain, visits a monastery in Bulgaria, climbs the Eiffel Tower, or simply enjoys a leisurely two-hour lunch at an outside café in a plaza, there is an overwhelming feeling of building upon a long history of a proud culture.
Dining on authentic Turkish food in London, sipping a Schwarzbier in Munich, strolling through a medieval town outside Madrid, or exploring a castle in Ireland, one gets to live tradition. La Passeggiata in Italy is a personal favorite. Enjoying tapas before a meal on the Iberian Peninsula is another. There are literally thousands.
The USA has not been around long enough to establish a real history, but what does concern me is a growing attitude that what is old is worthless (not among Native Americans, of course, though tribal leaders might disagree). On the contrary, amidst the elderly we find wisdom – and the roots of tradition. We must establish a better heritage than gobbling down fast food from Maine to California.
I love the USA for its ideals and its freedoms. I love Europe because when I visit, I feel connected to the Earth, to the universe, and to something greater than myself.