In my hometown, we have a man-made star on top of a mountain that is illuminated at night. I remember, when I was younger, wishing that I could see the Roanoke Star from my bedroom window. I would sit and stare out of the window, just hoping that on that day I would be able to see around the mountain just a little bit more. Alas, I never could see the Star from my window.
I spent the last year living in Trieste, Italy. When I arrived in late August, it was a huge transition. I loved my job and liked the city but still; I was in over my head and a little bit homesick.
About a month after I arrived, on September 30, 2010, to be exact, I had a realization. I was staring out the window in my bedroom and about to fall asleep when I really saw it for the first time.
The Monte Grisa Temple is situated on the edge of the Karst Plateau above the Adriatic Sea to the north of Trieste. The views from its position 300 meters above the Sea extend south to the coasts of Slovenia and Croatia and west along the coast of Italy. At night, the Temple is lit up and can be seen from the city of Trieste.
That night, as I was about to fall asleep, I realized that even though it was an insignificant landmark for others, for me, it was the Star I could never see from my bedroom window; it was a small reminder of something from the home I left behind. And that night, Trieste started to feel home.