Christmas Lights

Yesterday marked another project successfully delivered and one day early to boot. I had an insanely short amount of time to do this one and still I managed it somehow. After the stress of pulling it all together, the satisfaction of seeing it smoothly executed and the awareness sinking in of the fleeting time remaining before I am just another memory, I wanted to freeze the happy moment and celebrate. I wanted to jump up and down and shout Yooohoooooooo! We did it!

But there was no one there to share it with. Not really. Sure I pulled the team together, headed down to the pub and had a quick celebration ale. All were tired, even if pleased with the results, and anxious to get home to their families after so many days and long nights of work. In the blink of an eye, everyone was gone and I was left with the bright moon shining on all the empty glasses and the scratching of the fallen leaves rustling along the pavement.

I too am anxious to get home to Munich after nearly three weeks away. It's time to move to my new apartment on Friday. A few carloads and I should be easily out of the place I called home the last six months. I can imagine that moment but wonder how it will feel when I am finally there.

This morning I took advantage of the unexpected day off and booked a massage at the hotel spa. The massage room has recessed lights in the ceiling that very slowly alternated between red, blue, green...reeeed, bluuueeee, greeeeeeen.

The therapist started to do her work and as always happens when I have a massage, I skated the line between concious and sub-conscious, reaching a dream-like state yet still fully aware. My mind opened and closed random doors, skimming along memories, until I came to the room with the big full moon and, inevitably, to M. I blinked back the tears, retreated from the room, gently shut the door again or perhaps left it open a crack for another time.

To the next door and the red, blue, green, red, blue, green took me to another place. A timeless Christmas Eve. The lights on the tree slowly changing, red, blue and green. The snow silvery in the moonlight. The fat cat curled in front of the fire. Everyone else is sleeping and it is nearly silent except the crackling of the burning logs.

Christmas is not my favorite holiday. I was relieved when our family agreed a few years ago to no more presents. It is now just a time to get together. I cook a feast and more cookies than anyone knows what to do with and share them with the ones I love. It is a nicer holiday now but I don't love it.

Today on the massage table when I was a million miles away from England and in another season, I understood why some people find the holidays depressing. In that silent night, that time for family and loved ones, the truth is transparent. The sum of your life converges sharp and clear and what is important in this little time we have here becomes obvious. Right then you know, life, your life, with all its imperfections is either fulfilling and meaningful or shallow and empty. In the silent night, you can't hide from the truth.

My Christmas Eve dream is too sterile and empty. Even the fat cat isn't really mine.

Posted from Ashford Kent

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