Naomi Shihab Nye beautiful message

The Reading the World Conference at the University of San Francisco this past weekend was as always an extraordinary experience.
While I enjoyed every speaker, I would like to comment on a moment that was very significantly to me personally.
The great poet Naomi Shihab Nye as usual did not read a speak, but wove her talk around stories and poems, by her and other poets. Every word was meaningful, but what I want to share with you is a particular story.
Naomi told how when as a young woman she moved to San Antonio and was getting to know the city she was intrigued by a newspaper article which mentioned that a particular family had donated their mansion, filled with art, to become a museum.
She invited a friend to go visit the museum, and was delighted when upon arriving to the street she recognized the house she had seen in the newspaper. So, she parked the car in their parking lot, entered the house and began admiring each painting. The friend decided to go upstairs while Naomi enjoyed the living room, thinking of how pleasant it was to see these paintings in situ, without even a label interrupting the decor.
After a moment there was a gentleman next to her asking her what was she doing. She was surprised by the question and said she was enjoying the museum. The gentleman pointed out to her that the museum was two blocks down the street. So, when she asked what then was this place, he answered with a smile: We thought it was our home.
She called her friend from upstairs, and left filled with embarrassment, while a number of people sitting in the parlor looked at them.
She never told anyone of such blunder.
Years later, after a poetry reading a young woman approached her and asked her if indeed she was the person who once had entered a private home thinking it was a museum. All her feelings of inadequacy returned, but then the woman surprised her by saying: “I have wanted to thank you all my life. I was the teenager on that parlor. And up to then I had never appreciated the place I lived in, but when you mistook it by a museum, I realized that my parents indeed had good taste and hand made an effort to create this beautiful home, and my relationship towards them changed… because of you.
Naomi’s message with this story was how extraordinary it is that life will give us the opportunity to free ourselves of something from the past that had bothered us.
For me the message took even a higher meaning. It made me think again of the movie Atonement that I mentioned on an earlier posting. And I felt the invitation to not wait for life to come with a magical gift but to begin to create the actions that could somehow contribute to make up for past errors.
All my best wishes to anyone who reads this.