It’s still quiet, and the sun is beginning to sneak over the buildings and Oakland Hills to the east. There’s something fun and mysterious about spending a holiday in a new house. You never quite know how the cooking will work out. And the space has not yet been endowed with the spirit of traditions—it’s not really a home yet. Our apartment is cozy, and it’s starting to take on a feel of home, but until we’ve had some good parties and a few special meals, it’s still just a building.
The neighborhood doesn’t look much different today than it did a few weeks ago. There are some subtle decorations that hint at today’s holiday. People smile a little more, and if you look someone in the eye, they are happy to greet you. Nate and I walked over to Kathleen and Dave’s apartment yesterday to borrow a few folding chairs. As we passed Coffee With A Beat I mentioned to Nate that I was always impressed by the eclectic gathering of people that hang out there. When we walked past again on our way back, chairs in hand, I glanced over at an elderly woman sitting with a young man. The man was wearing sandals, which he had removed. The woman had just crushed the stub of a cigarette. I caught her eye and flashed her a smile. She responded with a cheery “Merry Christmas!” I winked at her and returned the greeting. It felt nice. Two perfect strangers exchanging a moment of happiness.
That’s what I like about holidays. They provide some of the spirit that we need to fill our lives and homes with a sense of meaning.