It’s been a hard year. We’ve lost a number of family members and dear friends. Had job changes. Experienced new aches and pains. Dealt with little annoyances like losing an iPad and a coat (how does that happen?? Are our minds slipping?!) And we’ve suffered through continuing bouts of ennui and this great restlessness. A combination of things that leaves our hearts hurting, our thoughts scattered and worried, our confidence tested, and our energy exhausted.
We wonder, how many more Christmases will we have? How many more summers? How many more times will I get to hug this person–or hear that story again–or ask those questions? How many more times can I say “next time, we’ll do that” –before there is no “next time”? So, this Christmas, when I went home to Nashville to see my Mom and Dad, I also made plans to see some extended family–people I love, and used to spend more time with, but who I don’t have a lot of chances to see on quick visits home from Chicago. It was good. We shared laughter, stories, meals. I need more of this. And I have made a promise to myself to do more of it in 2015, and make it count.
I also spent a little time driving around Nashville…visiting some places I love…places that are scratched into my memory. Former homes, old neighborhoods, favorite streets and parks. Maybe I only spent a little time there–or maybe a lot. But these places remain in my heart. And while I can see them –any day– when I close my eyes, I wanted to touch them again. It was good. This too, I need more of.
Things change. Buildings get knocked down. Trees get cut down. We change. People move in and out of our lives. It hurts sometimes. And while we can’t always see them anymore, they live on in our memories. And there is this magical kind of peace and grace in remembering those memories, and visiting those old places.
So, here’s to peace, and to a new year spent making good memories. Happy New Year!
Early one morning, two days after Thanksgiving, my best friend and I met to go on a photo jaunt. When I’m home, it’s a tradition for us to meet early in the morning when the sun is coming and the mist is still fogging over the roads, and head off into the wilds of Tennessee. We are Nashville-raised girls–so these old roads, falling down barns, abandoned buildings, lonely graveyards and remote train tracks draw us to them like birds to a nest. We drive for a while, jabbering about our lives, and stopping every few miles for some shots of something that speaks to us. Later, we stop in some little diner for a late breakfast before hightailing it back to town. These scenes, these drives, these little traditions remind me of what matters in life….family and friends, and roads to be traveled.