a dear friend dropped me at the airport for my flight to go visit my family for the holidays. on our way, we both told stories of some recent difficult moments for us. we commented on how the holidays seem to draw out some difficult moments. she sang, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year.” we both laughed, thinking, yah right. i walked into the airport and there it was again, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year” playing over the airport intercom system. and wondered to myself if the person who wrote that lyric actually believed it and what kind of charmed life they must have had. man, i am a cynic. ouch.
as i sat at my gate, i thought a lot about the holidays and what they represent – the expectations, both fake and real. how we crave for connection, intimacy, family, and yet so often fall short. we stay stuck in our roles, walled off. so often those moments of connection and intimacy arise organically. i wondered about how to create the spaces for those moments. and i realized how my decision to change my life this year is so much about this – about creating the opportunity for connection, for happiness. and i wondered how to do that in my own family. and how that might be different for each of us. and then i saw a small boy, about four years old, run across the gate area to give his mom a kiss and then run away again. she paused, watched him run away, and smiled at his unexpected show of affection.
Since there is no place large enough
to contain so much happiness,
you shrug, you raise your hands, and it flows out of you
into everything you touch. You are not responsible.
You take no credit, as the night sky takes no credit
for the moon, but continues to hold it, and share it,
and in that way, be known.
– naomi shihab nye
i’m back in my apartment now. for the last night. surrounded by boxes. thinking about the ending of this year and what i hope for next year.
happy new year. i hope this next year brings so much happiness that you cannot contain it.