On Tuesday I spent two beautiful hours in the place I feel the most of everything. I walked city blocks, took in the tree at Rockafeller Center, rode the subway downtown to grab a bite to eat and found I was more me than I have been in a really long time.
For those two hours there were no mortgage nightmares unfolding at a snail’s pace, while questions of where we would live and other adult style crises hung overhead. For those hours there was only the city, and thousands of others sharing in those same holiday sounds and the alive energy that is New York City. To be honest, before we navigated my car into the Lincoln tunnel I questioned if I even wanted to attempt a few city hours. It seemed so pitiful and teasing, but the way in which they filled me left me realized these moments matter and to seize them…
Yes, everyone else realized this long, long ago.
On the other side of that tunnel, (the very reason we were in Jersey to begin with) there was an ICU room at Rutgers, where we’d left our hearts. This perhaps made our New York jaunt a little lighter as well. Visiting hours gave us a free afternoon and sitting in a hotel room sounded like too much time to think, too much time to worry, too much… So, we adventured. If you’ve ever been to Newark then you know, adventuring there was NOT a wise idea, so the City was the obvious choice. (But, of course…)
I drove through Pennsylvania mountains yesterday, heading home to Michigan. As the miles spread between us and that hospital room, between me and that city, I was overcome with all of the things that matter and all of the things that do not. I italicize “home” because it isn’t for me. Even, aside from the fact that we technically, right now, do not have a real home. For Christmas I need to find a way to make peace with this idea of the two coexisting. For my husband, I do. He belongs here, and that means I must too. While I’ve tried in countless ways to make it home, I have to keep trying and finding new ways. This matters. My marriage, my family, my beautiful daughters, my son- whereever he is- my relationships, my writing… These things matter.
Why, at Christmas, do we get so caught up focussing on those things which often do not?
For Christmas I gave myself the gift of seeing that RC Christmas tree, something I have always wanted to do. Standing there, with every other smiling, selfie taking person, I realized there wasn’t a gift in the world I could unwrap that would mean more to me than that did. Even if it took $62 in parking fees and a $14 bridge toll to do it. Life is about the journey, the moments… We fill up, on the inside, with the moments. A cup of tea and a hearty laugh with a good friend can do more for the soul than a new sweater ever could, so why is the second one so more easily attainable it seems? This is a sad, sad part of today’s reality.
Yesterday, driving through those mountains, I soaked them in. No, they were not my Pacific Northwest mountains of Home, but they were mountains none the less. They were refreshing to my spirit and I allowed myself to fill up on them like I filled on the city. 2014 has been filled to the brim with some of the ugliest and hardest minutes and hours I have ever known, the worst being within the last few weeks. It took seeing someone we love become a living-breathing miracle to realize that I have to choose to not let my 2015 continue in such a fashion. Even if the trend sets similarly, I will take notice, adventure and savor.