I took a walk again last night. I was too lazy to get on my trainer and somehow putting on long johns and the warmest winter clothes I could find and venturing outside seemed to be the more welcoming alternative (that’s how much I hate indoor exercise!). I took my camera with me to get some shots of Christmas lights. I had it on “night mode” which keeps the shutter open longer to gather more light for the picture, but since human hands aren’t still enough, there’s a bit of scattery glow about all of them, making them blurry. I think they look kind of cool anyway, in a Munch, surrealistic sort of way so I’m posting them. Don’t look too close–it ruins the illusion they create. They are best viewed from afar.
This one is in the newer section of my neighborhood, which is a really pretty tree-lined section with newer houses and little old style lamp posts that give you the little town feel. There are no lamp posts in my section of the neighborhood. I live in the older part that was built in the 1970s. I think this section was built in the 1990s when they were trying to reinstate that small town look to new developments. I like it, though I suppose liking it makes me somewhat of a yuppie. So I feel guilty about liking it. (Remember: white picket fences and my strange attraction to the normalcy they represent.)
This is a really cool looking house in one of the other neighborhoods I walked in. I took one of my usual night walk routes that loops basically out of my neighborhood to hit the Stow Bikeway for a small portion of the walk. There are a lot of nicer neighborhoods and houses along this walk.
This house was in a blissfully lonely cul-de-sac in a development called Progress Park or something to that effect. The cul-de-sac was wooded and quiet and all the houses were really unique unto themselves. I felt strangely at home here. I could picture driving into one of the driveways every night, a dog and a husband to greet me at the door. The lots were wooded with no houses behind them.
Choo-choo! You’ve probably seen these lights before. The smoke from the train turns on and off to simulate movement. I thought it was cute. And the decorative little tree thing behind which is something a lot of people have but I still think they look nice despite the frequency at which I encounter them.
I thought this house’s decorations were pretty cool. I really have a fondness for icicle lights and tasteful lighted objects (such as the tree featured here).
A house alight in green. Pretty cool!
I got a little bummed on my walk. It seems Christmas sometimes brings out the loneliness I feel and I get to missing my husband and other important people in my life. Sometimes I miss the concept of being a kid and what Christmas meant to me back then. I don’t want to have children just to–as everyone says you do–live Christmas through them. That doesn’t really work for me. I’ve watched children enjoying Christmas like I did when I was a kid and it doesn’t particularly rekindle the feeling I’ve lost. It’s like watching someone you barely know cry when they are upset–the feelings of what they are going through are completely disconnected with the emotions you’re experiencing. Sure, you can empathize, have an idea of what they are feeling through your experience of feeling something similar, but you’re not experiencing directly the emotions they are feeling at the moment, so it just kind of floats around you, missing your heart and mind.
It’s dumb to long for feelings and things that have longed passed you by. It’s even stupider for someone my age to wax melancholic like an old fool. Everyone older than me laughs when I refer to my youth. “What?!” they exclaim, “Why, you’re still in your youth.” Which is probably true. But I’ve driven down many roads and my shoes carry the dust of those travels. And I miss the scenes along some of those old ambling routes.
I suppose most holidays have a way of making single people feel lonely. Christmas hits me the worst. Since Mike died, I’ve felt a strange intertwining of loss and joy as I experience time with the friends and family who are still with me. I am both lonely and most unlonely (for lack of a better antonym). A walking contradiction, always.
I feel a change in the air. Remembering my experiences from childhood reminds me that traditions and situations only last so long, and then they are stuck forever like snow globes in your head–perfect and cheerful and beautiful always. It feels like some traditions might slowly be falling apart. I wonder what Christmas will be like for me in 20 years. Will I still see my cousins annually on Christmas Eve? Will it only be my immediate family on Christmas day? How will I feel when it all ends, when Christmas Eve is no longer the big H party, a tradition I’ve lived with since I first knew Christmas? How will I build my own traditions alone? Perhaps I will become one of those in denial this time of year, hustling purposefully off to some exciting destination just to busy myself out of feeling the loneliness.
For now, I just struggle to hang onto the rope as it starts to slip through my fingers. I’ll cherish each moment and, like I did when Mike died, deal with the situation when my fingers slide to the end of the rope and I tumble to the ground.