Thursday, December 24, 2009

Back in the Broad Meadow

This Christmas season has found me once again in Indiana, a little older, a little thinner (all that walking), a little paler (goodbye Bloomington Total Tan), and very much with my family in mind. Following my first semester in New York (a nostalgia for the safety of academia - no?), I find myself once again in the country, in the quiet, and surrounded by the many faces I left behind. And now, after a 2 week hiatus, back to my blog. Gone are the bright lights of Time Square, the legions of yellow taxi cabs, and the inexhaustible trains, snaking their way through the city, giant arteries feeding the city's hustle and bustle. After a delay-filled flight featuring grumpy airline employees and several whiskey sours, I return once again to the Broad Meadow, the place I travel to so often in my mind. Breathing fresh Hoosier air once again, I am filled with nostalgia for my childhood and clinging to the safety of family and friends and work-free days. According to New York Magazine, nostalgia has been one of 2009's overriding themes, so it seems I am right in line with the rest of the country. Since my arrival here, things have mostly been quiet and even - dare I say it - serene. Instead of New York's dizzying pace, my surroundings are for the most part slow and calm (well, excluding a gutsy trip to the Wal-Mart and the Wantz's gift exchange). These past two weeks have been very strange, time mostly spent watching time go by, anticipating what's coming next: Christmas at home, seeing Granny, New Years, and my upcoming show. The trains come and go, the tables arrive and leave the restaurant, each nightfall gets me closer to vacation and loved ones. Now that I am here, I have the strange sensation of putting part of my life on hold, my journey at a pause, while at the same time returning to myself, returning to my center, and (lucky for you) returning to my blog. We are currently in the middle of our Christmas-ing, having partied with my Dad's family yesterday, spending the day with each other today, and looking to celebrate with Mom's family this weekend. I am looking forward to continued gluttony (jambalaya and fried turkey lead the menu tomorrow), unwrapping gifts, and familiar faces. While other Yuletides have been filled with excitement and expectation, this Yuletide finds me somber, sobered by the solstice, rather than drunk with the season. I think this means I am getting old. I feel very thankful for all that I have, for my home, my freedom, my family, seeking their company rather than Santa's. This Christmas has had a bittersweet note, as I am sad to say that after a long, long ride, Granny went home to the Lord early Tuesday morning. As we still sort out our feelings and reel from the shocking loss, I know I must find a way to say goodbye, though I am sure she will find her way into my life (and this blog) again and again. But for now, I choose to celebrate the holiday, embracing those around me, thankful for God's gifts, and maybe even spreading little cheer. I'll borrow a phrase from my friend Judy and invite you to "have yourself a merry little christmas." I know I am.

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