Sunday, December 29, 2019

Everything is Special 

Snow is extra special at this special time of year.

Everything is so special at this time of year. Light snowfall on a sunny morning is pretty, not worrying. The twinkly shop lights and window displays in the dim afternoon light seems extra lovely. The darkest and longest night of the year isn’t a day of dread but of Solstice celebration. Coffee is sold with peppermint, chocolate and whipped cream, which is special. When it’s cold enough for the ice rinks to open, it’s so special to see crowds of people circling in a small rink.

Even laundry. I did Christmas laundry this morning and it was so special! There was a momentary streak of sun which lit the tiniest crystalline flakes of snow in the air. Very special. Cleaning is special when you’re tidying up the house to prepare for visitors. Why can’t I keep the house this tidy all year long? Because the rest of the year isn’t special, that’s why. What is dreary every other time of year is less dreary at this time of year. Cooking a big meal with all of the special ingredients is especially special. Eating, something we do every day of our lives (if you’re lucky) is super special when it’s a special meal downed with a special drink. Doing the dishes after a special meal doesn’t seem special until you realize your head is bopping to the special music of this special time of year.

This time of year is so special that people will nearly ruin themselves to spend quality time with the special people in their lives. They will take special care to get to the airport early to catch the special flight with the extra special price. Or they will drive for hours through dangerous weather just to get to that special feeling of being surrounded by loved ones.

This year I did something super special. I took out the not-so-special part of Christmas and simply stayed home. I didn’t just “stay at home”, I stayed at home, in the house on the couch. Of course, I did eventually leave the house and see people I know in friendly environs but on Christmas Day itself, I was alone. I was alone with the TV shows I loved, the music I loved, the books, movies and food I loved. Via technology I saw family face-to-face with only a pane of glass and thousands of kilometres between us. Alexander Graham Bell would’ve wept. It was lovely. It was not lonely. Now I’m not saying I would do this every year nor would I recommend it to those who require familial support. I might be unique or this year may be unique but I am rolling around in my solitude the way a mountain dog rolls in fluffy snow. I’m watching beloved movies. I’m reading on the couch which leads to napping on the couch. I’m eating chocolate, liquorice, cake, chips and clementines. I’m wearing what I call “house jamas” (not really pyjamas per say, but light loose and shabby clothing nonetheless) and loving it. My health hasn’t been super this year (an ongoing skin condition that would have made Job an atheist) and travelling like this would have been my end. Rather than fight line-ups, security checks, other travellers, weather, fate and lastly sitting in this skin I’m in on airplanes and in airports, I’d rather be left at home to my own devices. Sometimes to appreciate what makes this time of year special, you may have to sacrifice some of what makes it special to preserve its specialness.



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