It’s hard to believe, but we are less than two weeks away from the one year anniversary of our move to North Carolina. As I was preparing this post, we had just had our second snow of the season (though long time Raleigh residents tell me again and again that it rarely snows, it’s our fifth snow fall since being here. Global warming? ). There was a thin coating of ice over the plants in the yard and the neighborhood was silent, broken only by the quiet drip of melting icicles. I was struck by the stark beauty of this unfamiliar (to a California girl) winter landscape, still and wonderous but lonely too.
I don’t know if it was this, or just the time of year, but I was also suddenly struck by a longing for home. For a glass of wine with the friend that knows me inside and out, for the gorgeous chatter of nieces and nephews, the collecting of the various branches of our eclectic family at my father’s on Christmas day, the latest late night installment of the lifelong conversation between my sister and I, often broken and interrupted but always leaving me wanting more. Which, I guess, is my long-winded way of saying I miss you guys.
Kirk and I got a small tree this year, so that we could put it on a table, out of reach for the dogs. It’s perfect actually. And I liked the contrast between the cold and icy day outside, and the warm lights of the tree.
When I transferred the photos I took that day to my computer, I flicked through the other photos I’ve snapped through the year. And I thought I would share some of them, a kind of celebration of the contrasts of seasons:
One of the more startling physical transformations I have witnessed this year is not the landscape, but that of our puppy Stella. When we adopted her she was a skinny crooked thing, having survived being hit by a car and subsequently left in a backyard without treatment for about a month. She’s sitting next to me now, a muscly forty-five pound cuddle bug, with strong, almost-straight legs.
Pretty cool huh?
And I guess you could say that the theme of the year has been transformation for me as well (though not of the, em, weight loss variety as I had hoped!). Gone are the days of working 8 to 4 in the city, hour long commute to and from our apartment in Oakland, in the summer sitting on the stoop of our building, the concrete sidewalk still hot from the day, watching Oakland’s crazy denizen’s roll past, chatting with the neighbors. Now here I am, out in the ‘burbs, surrounded by trees, nurturing this brand new business. The quiet hum of birds and insects sometimes stops me short when I open my door, after ten years of the more jangling noises of an inner city street. As the year draws to a close our little family is embarking on projects which may well bring more big changes….so stay tuned! Happy holidays ya’ll……hug those dear to you near and keep your toes warm.