take a moment
In front of the butcher two young children are riding small mechanical horses. They’re happy, and their father looks proud. In the background a woman grabs a meat pie behind the glass counter and wraps it up for a customer.
It doesn’t feel that long ago that my small body climbed up on those horses and rocked my bright blonde head back and forth. And even though it's been years, I can still taste the butcher's cordon bleu chicken and pepperoni sticks that I ate through elementary school.
There are some things that never change. Sitting on the bench in front of the butchers, I feel completely immersed in my past and present. The air feels damp and smells like rain. The florist is still selling flowers, the tills of the Supervalu grocery store are still ringing, and the bakery is still selling the same cakes it sold throughout my childhood. By the time my dad walks up to me I'm soaked in familiarity.
I always find it strange being home. I grow overwhelmed by all the memories that come back to me. Some memories make me smile, and others only make my stomach turn. I had a good life growing up, but spent a lot of my teen years sick with insecurity.
And then there's the weather. The long dark days and constant rain make my body heavy and my mind weak. I find myself always cold and uncomfortable. Vancouver is beautiful, but the moment those grey clouds take over the landscape is lost. Luckily I have a mother who knows my cold blooded nature and packs my bed with all the blankets she can find.
There are certain joys and warmth you can only find at home. I love being with my family, crawling up on the sofa with my mother and father and watching movies. I relish in family meals more than anything. The other night my father grilled burgers while my brother and I went out to buy wine and vodka. After dinner I decorated our tree in an intoxicated state with red decorations, dancing around and trying to place them evenly. We were listening to Christmas Carols, my brother and father sat and watched while my mother sifted through old decorations.
Later that night I shook my body around on the dance floor with two close friends. For the first time in months I felt myself let loose, while my limbs went limp, and my body took on the music. The rest of the room faded while I remained with the beat of the music and the smiles of two familiar faces. Moments like these are precious.
I’m eating well, sleeping longer, and letting my mind rest a little. The New Year is going to demand a lot of strength and I plan on plowing through it.
And I'm taking a moment to be thankful. Thankful for everything I have, and for a silly holiday that lets me spend time with people I love once a year.