It strikes me as privilege to begin again. For a door to open when before there were only walls. There is no doubt my life has unfolded with tremendous privilege from the get-go. My first memorable do-over happened at 16 when living at home with my parents no longer suited any of us in that scenario. The whys are a whole other story, but after a short search, my parents landed me in a New England boarding school for my last two years of high school. Standing in a dorm room with my mother, my trunk and suitcase unpacked next to my unmade extra-long single, she told me, in no uncertain terms, to break from my childhood nickname, from all the troubles incurred in my childhood home, and leave behind everything that still tied me down. This is your chance, she whispered before leaving me in that unknown landscape. Needless to say, I stumbled, only to find myself lost in the dark, unprepared for such broad horizons. I was raised in the dust-storm of a large household not sure what part of me was me; I found myself hesitant what to choose when the whole palette of decisions was there for me to pick from. So confused, I fell into the blackness of night for many years. As Katherine May so artfully described, “Winter had begun.”
“By winter, she means not just the cold season, but “a fallow period in life when you’re cut off from the world, feeling rejected, sidelined, blocked from progress, or cast into the role of an outsider“” (Mcalpin).
Perhaps this year more than any other, traditions hold greater sentiment, and finding that special Christmas tree to gather around is certainly one for me. While we may be apart this year, all our memories will hold us tight…Enjoy this repost from 2018 when we all did just that… xxoo
There is a cut-your-own tradition in Vermont with Christmas trees. Decades ago when my family first started to have Thanksgiving here, we’d tag our tree during that long weekend. Then, weeks later, we’d head back to the farm, with sled in tow and saw in hand, we’d try to find our special tree. There were years when we’d have to trudge through feet of snow, and on hands and knees, dig our way down to find the trunk. Frozen fingers wrapped around the saw we’d tug back and forth until it was cut through. Oh those fresh trees would fill the house with everything Christmas. Sweet pine. Cold air and snow. Even the mountain view came into our living room with that smell.
If you are like us, you spent Thanksgiving within your own household, adjusting that gloriously BIG American meal for a smaller quieter crowd, and then got real inventive with the leftovers. You did this because you really do care for our extraordinary health care professionals and brave service workers, bus drivers, police and firemen, and the caring teachers who are still manning their in-person classes. You did this because you understand science, and care about the spike in COVID cases from coast to coast and you know that you can make a difference by minimizing your close encounters of any risky kind. Right? As we cross into December, it is clearly time to take this advice to heart and get our priorities straight, if for no other reason than for this waiting game to come to a close. Collectively, can we possibly agree to call the 1.5 million worldwide deaths enough? Are you ready? Can I count on you? Continue reading