This morning my mother, father, Max and I tumbled out of the house and to the train station, boarded a commuter train and head in to New York City.  For 6 years my mother has been waiting to take her eldest grandchild into New York to experience the magic of Christmas–to see the tree in Rockefeller Center, to watch the Rockettes and the live nativity, to marvel at the ceiling in Grand Central Station.  For both of them it was a dream come true.

On the way home we all settled into the seats of the train.  Max and I were snuggled together–he with my ipod, me with Momma Zen, a beautiful book I treated myself to this Christmas.  The train rocked us both to sleep, a deep peaceful happy sleep that says we had a beautiful day but it is done and now, the only thing left to do is to close our eyes and rest and let it go.

I am ready for the holidays to wind down, to let go of the magic and lights and be rocked to sleep by a train taking me back to my regular, normal, sweet life. 

Like my darling friend Jen Lemen, I am a sucker for magic at Christmas time.  I crave it.  The sparkling lights, the kindness of strangers, the warmth of my community wrapped around us, it brings out in me hope wide and expansive.   

But hope can be a dangerous thing.  I can get carried away by it.  Hope can send me flying off into an imaginary future.  Drunk on too much hope, I believe that I will be swept away into some magical other reality–so much more sparkly than my current now.  I start to fantasize about something else–some other life.and then am disappointed it is not my now.  Suddenly my beautiful and lovely life seems a bit…well…tarnished.

Yes.  Too much sparkle and hope can just leave me feeling a bit hungover.  When I get to that place, I need to stop, turn off the lights and settle into the real magic that is my life.

In a moment of terrible sadness about being a single mom this holiday season, one of my dear ones grabbed me by the shoulders and looked into my eyes.  Summoning all her clarivoyant powers, she told me that next year would be different, that the magic that transformed our lives in 2007 is going to continue to bring surprises for us in 2008.  She reminded me that this loneliness I feel now is impermanent, fleeting and will soon be gone.  But it is what it is.  It is MY now.  This is what I have, along with the friends who hold me, the love that surrounds me, the music that moves me, the stories that make my heart sing. 

It was the most beautiful of Christmas gifts.  It gave me permission to trust that it would all turn out exactly as it should, to stop imagining what my life would be like if ONLY and just let go of my yearning.  To remember that I am exactly where I need to be right now.  To trust that I need not do any thing for magic to arrive.  I just need to be present to it.  

By some miracle, Max and I wake just in time to get off the train.  We drive home from the station.  He gives me the sweetest hug I have had all week–a deep bear hug and tell me that he loves me and I know that this moment is the most perfect one.  Because it is now.

**I have been meaning to link to this reflection on now all week.  It is and has been for me a stunningly beautiful reminder of the joy in staying rooted in the moment. 

One Response to “Settling back into Now”

  1. Jena Strong Says:

    My mom, too, is hankering to bring Aviva to see the Rockettes. Thank you for this post. What’s funny is that you say my writing reminds you of the Now, but really it’s your that’s gives me a mirror to peer into and see what I so quickly forget when I’m not in the moment of writing. Here’s to 2008, Meg. I agree with your friend. Our time is coming… our time is here. xo Jena