Today marks 35 years from that January 7th when I got married.
January 7 – past and present
1984 – It’s my wedding day. The weather is chilly and foggy in Northern California. I am too excited to sleep late. I have a date with my fiance for a morning meeting. He comes to pick me up at my parents’ house. My grandmother is aghast that we are seeing each other before arriving at the church; it’s just not done. But we know what we want. We want to focus on each other, on the meaning the day has for us personally before being caught up in the ritual. We park the car under some oak trees in the foothills. We decide it’s too damp and cold to walk, so we sit in the car and talk. We are calm and happy. He drops me off at the house. The next time I see Jim, he is standing at the altar, grinning. …
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Best of the month: January
This has been an eventful year in my life. My son’s wedding, my daughter’s graduation, trips to Badlands, California, and Oregon — I have so much beauty to remember, so much to be grateful for. My personal calendar of photos reflects my little world of favorite things to look at: my loved ones and the view of Nature around me.
I also think of all that these photos do not show that has occurred this year. The world is a mixture of joy and suffering, always. The lens of compassion is the one that I hope is always in my mind’s eye.
Thank you, Ann-Christine, for inviting us to reflect on the year that is past and to look forward to improving in the next.
I celebrate the gathering of family, the reunion of loved ones. I choose the table cloth, polish the silver and wipe the crystal glasses until they shine. I light the candles and arrange the appetizers in a tempting display. I listen for the doorbell.
I remember an Advent anthem I sang in church choir, years ago. It was called Anticipation, and I cannot find the author or the composer, but the words remind me of the joyous preparation and promise of celebration.
“The sky is black; the dawn is but a promise, and here I wait, impatient for the light. My dearest friend is coming back tomorrow. Anticipation fills the endless night, and soon the sky will fill with golden sunlight. The day will break with joy beyond compare, and I will fly — I will fly — to meet him in the air.”
I look forward to celebrating the return of the sun’s light, to the reunion of parents, children, sisters, brothers and friends. May we all warm the dark nights with laughter and love, good will and good food, and remember our connection and belonging.
Thank you, Amy, for sharing a glimpse of celebration in Peru and sparking our imaginations.
…the bright, blessed day…
…are also on the faces of people passing by…
I see friends shaking hands, saying “How do you do?” They’re really saying, “I love you.”
I hear babies cry; I watch them grow…
This wonderful song always makes me cry. In my mind, I hear the voices of Louis Armstrong, David Attenborough and the Barrington Childrens Choir expressing these words of appreciation. I feel myself dancing to it with my daughter at her wedding. It is my song of happiness for the best the world has shown me…the Earth and Sky, loving People and my children. It is truly a wonder-filled world, and I am forever happy to be in it.
Thank you, Ann-Christine, for challenging us to articulate all our reasons for happiness.
The most fun I ever had with my camera was doing my son’s wedding photo shoot one year ago. Well, I was a bit nervous…at first. I’d never done a portrait photo shoot before. Much less a wedding one. But all the logistics came together beautifully, and these kids are just so darn photogenic, that I knew I was getting seriously excellent shots. So I relaxed and had an absolute ball. I really enjoy being with my kids. They’re full of fun…and youth.
Thank you to Patti at P.A. Moed for inviting us to have fun with this challenge!
Turns out you can, indeed, go home. Expect things to have changed, expect to discover new delights. Expect to laugh and cry. Hug your loved ones. And plan to return.
Thanks, Sarah, for offering me your perfectly comfortable home, your gracious listening ears, more food, and transportation. And for sharing Stanley. Thanks, Dharam, for sharing your presence, your insights, your music, and your fabulous hugs. And more food.
Thanks, David and Sarah, for sharing your time, your vulnerability, your smiles, your love. And food. Thanks, Cristina, Guru & Amrit for showing up with youth and energy and honesty. And even more food. My hope for the future is greatly increased the more I get to know you.
And thanks, Val and Mike, for your hospitality, wisdom, and stories. Including great food and lots of wine!
I love having you all in my life!
Going home isn’t easy for some. When I come home to family, it can be a slugfest…but in the most delightful way.
I am truly fortunate.