Friday, December 18, 2020


Waiting to visit friends, to sit in cafes, or ride a full train, all the way to Oregon, or Chicago. Waiting to invite everyone over, cook together, break bread.
It's so lovely to have traditions, to anticipate familiar events, like decorating our tree, playing Christmas carols, and opening a a sweet gift... cookies from Aunt Laura and Uncle Gary, a box of memories, affection, love. It's amazing to make unexpected discoveries like a tiered holiday welcome light, as good as new, and left at our Little Free Library. Who knew? That my old, cherished one, stopped working, and I've been looking for another? These gestures, and gifts, are so generous, so kind, and bring to mind, once more, all that has been gentle and miraculous in this hard year.
We are waiting for the last day of school before winter break, so we can make day long plans, and late night plans. So we can bake, and wrap, make crafts, look for lights, watch movies, read aloud. We are waiting for lockdown to be over, for the virus to be halted, for an all clear, so all the schools can open safely. We are willing, and insistent, that this is a patient, mindful wait, because as hard as it is to miss out, to endure the challenges, the consequences of haste are too great.

I am waiting for everything to do with the collision to be settled. Finally, at last, settled. The two year anniversary came and went. It weighs on me so much more than I can stand, I am sorry to admit. It turns out, I am not the sort of person that can compartmentalize one thing from another. Each new phone call, every time I have to unravel some other part of it, or revisit the day, the days, the papers, photographs, records... I am set back. I waste hours, days even, in a heavy fog. I am waiting to go forward, and it's a struggle. "The insurance company wants to know if you are still hurting?" "Every day," I reply.
Welcome light. Our bicycle rides have been finishing in the very last bit of sunlight. We catch a glimpse of the sunset, then ride by homes with lit trees in windows, decorations on balconies. One house has a light up corgi dog on the lawn... it's all wires and tinsels, white and orange, and peering out their screendoor is a real life, white and orange corgi. He looks adorable. This year I am drawn to the warm white lights, and the colored lights that are a bit softer, less bright. Every ride, I think of all the times our Mother drove us to Pasadena, or Whittier, to Alhambra, for Christmas with aunts and uncles, cousins, grandparents, to make tamales, and buy new shoes, or go to church. I play it over and over, again, the moment we pulled up to a familiar house, and were welcomed in, the hugs, the good smells, and ramped up excitement to see cousins, to play, to take in all the details and comforts. It's bittersweet. I thought that it would go on forever, at least parts of that time, the places, faces, something of those traditions and family time.
I am not in any hurry, except probably for Maria to be out of school. After that, I wish we could slow it all down. Or would it be better to focus on filling up the time, keeping busy, productive? My energy is low, and comes in small waves, like a choppy ocean, with nothing sustained that could give a nice ride. I think of bears, and how they hibernate, then come out lean and strong, in the spring. That has tremendous appeal.
I am waiting for Winter Solstice, to see the convergence. I am waiting for JPL to tell us to look up, with something new in the heavens to gaze and marvel at.

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