As comes with most family events and holidays, a wave of chaos often supersedes any hopes for a calm, traditional and enjoyable family meal. But somehow, we are endeared all the same, and still seem to migrate home for the holidays to indulge in the dysfunction of it all again and again.
Returning home to my home in Colorado in the midst of winter, is like entering a snow-filled tornado or avalanche filled with white flurries, family feuds, piles of scarfs and gloves, some family bonding and good food.
While it is not easy having separate households, one benefit is that you get to enjoy the overstimulating American holiday- in which we say "thanks," by stuffing ourself with course after course of deliciously fattening food- twice.
I do have to say that as much as we can annoy each other, there is something quite homey to me about standing in my mom's kitchen, making (gluten-free, dairy-free) pumpkin pies while pausing to dance around the dining room with my siblings and barking pup, to whatever new single of Justin Bieber is blasting on our radio.
The fire is hearty, licking the grey wooden logs, the snow is falling quietly outside, piling on to build that beautiful sparkling, white winter wonderland that Coloradians have come so much to adore, and I have come to miss. And somehow, amongst the chaos, and the noise, the arguing and the laughter, and sneaking around to stuff ourselves with whatever we can get our hands onto before the meal (sorry for always spoiling our appetite Mom); I have that moment.
That moment when the noise and chaotic energy and everything grows quiet and slows for a moment, and I realize how truly lucky I am.
How lucky I am to be surrounded by loved ones, spending the time cooking delicious food and eating to my hearts content, and to be in a safe and beautiful place.
We are all lucky, for something. And I am so grateful for that. Sometimes, I think we too often take that for granted. Especially in light of what is going on in the near and far stretches of our hurting Mother Earth these days, I think we have to be grateful and then be grateful once more.
So hug your loved ones, take moment to not just savor your food- but to really savor that you are able to eat and enjoy those lovely meals unharmed, sleep in a warm place with a roof over your head and be surrounded by friends and family. Pray for those who don't have the same opportunity and remember how lucky we are just to be alive.
I am thankful for that. For that, and for my amazing friends and family, my support system and the opportunity to continue pursuing and living my dreams.
Here are some of the snapshots below from our Thanksgiving feast yesterday. I'm still drooling, even though I'm pretty sure I will still be digesting it all for the next few days. Here's to part two tonight! ;)
Happy Thanksgiving, or whatever celebration you may cherish, and Happy Holidays!