beautiful, confession, family, friendship, gratitude, holiday, home, journey, Lately

The art of looking…

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A few snowflakes dance on the outer side of my office window.

I sit here watching them waltz, kiss a bit and then chase each other down to the ground… It is snowing in such a way that it isn’t really snowing at all. Gen had hoped for a snow day because, honestly, she has (finally) reached that point in adolescence where she wants to fake sick and miss school. Since it took her becoming a Sophomore for this to happen, I began to question if it ever would. Tragically, (for her) the green grass outside and blustery seven flakes, in the late morning, do not constitute inclement weather. Not so tragic for me, I guess. I sit here thinking about the state of life. How sad things fill our news feeds every day, but when then are big unfathomable things that happen here on our own American soil they feel so much bigger.

Life feels heavy.

Days before Thanksgiving, the state of it all feels bleak. Dark.

And then I see commercials or ads for Black Friday sales and mention of how we need or want this, that and something else. More, more, more… I’m so sad because, you guys, we just don’t get it. Maybe for a window of time you get it, or I get it, but we as a people do not register that the way to make the dark a little brighter is simply to shed a little kindness and share some love. On a radio show this morning someone commented that this “Ferguson stuff is putting a damper on my Thanksgiving.” What? No, this person does not live anywhere near Missouri. Talk about missing the point of Thanksgiving in the first place.

While I typed my last blog post, 34 days ago, I’m sure I glanced up to see leaves dance outside of my window the very same way these snowflakes have been. There is something both beautiful and a touch magical about these dancing seasonal fragments of nature. My soul needs the wonder of their whimsy amidst the blackness clouding my phone, Facebook, twitter and internet feeds.

It took me looking up, from the bad though, to see this good. That’s how it is. Sometimes, we have to look up. Sometimes, we have to seek out the beautiful moments, but they are there.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, but this year everything in me wants to hate it because everything I love about it is not present. I miss home, I miss my family and friends. Scrolling through photos of my nieces and nephews, my heart-felt homesick pangs like none I’ve had before. I have china and service ware for holidays that I doubt will ever be used again and I am the shallow sort of person who sheds real, hot, heartbreaking tears over this realization. All of that being said though, (and I’m not complaining, I’m just being real…) I’m looking a little bit harder these days and I am finding things to be thankful for…

Things beyond the:

– my amazing husband

– my wonderful kids

– my adorable, faithful canine companions

things like,

– a warm place to sleep, even if it’s only a temporary solution.

– clean water to drink, that does not carry disease.

– one really lovely weekend. We had a nice date, Chw and i, and we had a really fun family day. This was preceded and followed by home stress that neither of us have any energy or resources to deal with, anymore, but the weekend was divine.

– ridiculous conversations with my awesomely witted friends.

– Rudolph Christmas stamps. I’m not sending out Christmas cards this year (for the first year ever) but those stamps are amazing.

– the rains that came and took the snow (for now) away.

– sore muscles.

– friends who keep me accountable.

– cozy pajamas and flannel sheets.

– a thermometer that reads in the ear.

– tea, iced or warm.

Thanksgiving, the day, is in a few days. It’s Thanksgiving for Americans living in Boise, Detroit, Tampa and Ferguson. People have buried loved ones this week, or will prepare to. Thanksgiving is a spirit we need to embrace, to make the most of our moments, our people and our breaths… This is what I mean when I say Happy Thanksgiving.

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