Saturday, December 2, 2017

Home

This year, I have visited three places to which I had never been before: Niagara Falls (twice!), Boston and Hawaii. Each time I travel, I develop a greater context; I use these new perspectives to frame timeless questions about myself and the big human family to which I belong. I love expanding my mind's borders and including more experiences to bring back to my corner of the world. I relinquish a lot of control and, in doing so, practice open-mindedness. Then I come home.


This December, I feel a lot like coming home. The world can be a big, beautiful place with lots to do and see. Indeed, I count myself fortunate to have the world laid out before me without major blockades to what I can access. 'Oh, the places we'll go' and 'we can do anything', right? I want my world to be small right now. I crave intimacy, the familiar, and comfort. I left Facebook behind in Hawaii and saw I didn't really miss it, so I took it off my phone and laptop. I check in once in a while. I am missing out on some life updates and pictures and reminders that I have come to rely upon for a sense of community. It will be there when I return. For now, I am closing the blinds to the big outside world and focusing on what is here. Stoking those home fires.


This is less a declaration and more an intuited nod to the season. It is quiet, slow, dark. I feel the same. I made a harried effort to finish Christmas shopping by the end of December again this year, so I can focus on enjoying this month. It is a special time. I have learned to stop defining that special magic by any religious doctrine and embrace the spiritual pull to be still this month, picking and choosing from a number of traditions based on what feels best, to me. Quiet, introspective and a little introverted. At home with my family. So we can hear and see the miracles, tiny and big, that are all around us.


The big world keeps turning, further from the sun than it is any other time of year. Though I am not walking on any new beaches, the waves will keep lapping up the shoreline. The news keeps reporting on tragedies and triumphs, whether I consume the stories or not. There is a lot of doing that needs to be done, so for now I prepare. In quiet reflection, holding little hands, I am home. There is a lot I do not know, and a lot of places I have not been, but when I look to the guiding words of the wise men and women that have come before me, I know home is where it starts.


"A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life," - The Dalai Lama


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