The Holidays

I was walking from Penn. to work today, like I do everyday, but this morning was especially nice.

It was cold, the sidewalks were icy and sprinkled with old snow and new salt, and the sky was perfectly blue and clear. After about 15 minutes of walking, I went into a coffee shop to get some coffee. I opened the door to the place and right as I did I got that great relieving feeling you get from walking into a heated room after being out in the cold; when warmth envelops your cold face, evaporating its numbness; and it seems like all the snot you’ve ever produced has decided that it’s time to vacate your nose, so you need to sniffle around one hundred times a second to make sure it doesn’t.

Everyone in the place was wearing scarfs and hats and gloves, the people behind the counter were wearing sweaters and making hot drinks and hot breakfast sandwiches, and the windows were slightly fogged up. There was music playing too, but I don’t particularly remember if it was holiday music or not.

I’m waiting in line, and I literally thought to myself, “This moment is what the holidays are all about…”. That specific moment – the setting, the comfort, the glow – it just overwhelmed me, and I realized something: you have to look for it and you have to actively accept it. You have to make the effort to believe that now is real, and that what you’re looking for is right in front of you; it just needs to be seen to be found.

I remember the first Christmas I woke up and didn’t immediately get out of bed to see what was under the tree, or if my parents were awake or if they remembered to eat the cookies we left out. That was sad, and I contemplated that loss for a long time when I was a kid. Was Christmas dead? Was I becoming numb? Would the rest of the things I loved follow the same fate? But now I think it was more-so a coming of age than a dissillusion of innocence. Presents and material things no longer provoked the same sort of effortless wonder anymore. I’d have to work for it, but the wonder wasn’t gone…

It’s really easy to let time pass unnoticed, mistaken for insignificant, while simultaneously yearning for some remembered happiness. I guess this morning was especially nice because, for whatever reason, I did notice its significance and it made me happy.

Hope all of you are having a great day, too.