sometimes the orphan.
i am exhausted. but happy.
it’s midnight, and ash is safely tucked into bed. i decided that it would just be too excruciatingly depressing to do christmas alone in our air bnb, as lively as it is….so i took an invitation from a kind family i have come to know and love when they were kind enough to extend it. i felt honored.
from town, i brought all the presents, the empty stockings, the cookies for santa, the carrots we bought for the reindeer. i brought everything but our fucking tree. i am in new zealand. i do not have to isolate. it seemed like insanity not to gather. so here i am, with another family. they adopted me. and ash.
i’ve been a guest in many homes, many times, for many reasons. if you’ve read my book, you know. i also love hosting random orphan guests at holidays, it’s my favorite thing to offer.
tonight i watched myself fall into a real trance of simultaneous grief and gratitude, two emotions that i’ve gotten used to holding at the same moment. two emotions, i suppose, that the entire world is learning to navigate as a constant coupling.
grief at my distance from home. gratitude to have this home.
today, i was the orphan. me and my sidekick.
ash played on the beach today and his hair was the exact color of the hills.
we found a crab in the rock pools. ash helped me and margo clipper off some of the grass on the path to the water. ash watched the crayfish they’d caught get boiled.
there was joy, laughter, music, jumping, cooking, drinking, games.
he went to bed exhausted and happy. i can’t wait to see his face when he wakes up tomorrow and sees all the gifts from santa. (and the nibbled-to-nubs carrots.)
we all take our turns. sometimes the host, sometimes the orphan.
the magic of christmas to me at ash’s age was immense. i know he’ll remember this. and how his village encircled him.
i have so much to say to all of you and so little energy.
may i just say….
i love all of you.
i spent all day in the wonder-zone of my situation. that i get to meet and hug and kiss strangers. that ash gets to run around with kids and make collections of dead bugs and battle them with croquet mallets.
that we get to live normally. whatever that means or used to mean.
i know so many of you also cannot be with your families, partners, children, loved ones, friends over the next few days.
and i just want to remind you that if you’re lonely and hurting, someone out there loves you.
i hope the next few days are calm and loving, however it needs to happen or unfold.
please feel free to tell me/us how you’re doing in the comments. i’ll be reading. as usual, do not be afraid to comment on other people’s posts. reach out. connect.
this is one strange christmas, my loves.
it’s just a ride.