As we left Chicago this Christmas morning from Mormor’s house, on our first winter road trip, it was with a heavy heart. Not a sad heavy heart mind you, just heavy. One heavy with memories of past Christmas’s, heavy with thoughts of people no longer with us, and heavy with thoughts of weather patterns south of us. Without any reservations to speak of, we were able to leave a day early in the hopes that we would stay a day ahead of the blizzard that is going to be plaguing the south eastern portion or our trip to Florida. But it is not easy leaving tradition, especially when the idea of tradition has weighed heavily on my mind this year. Traditions are the back bone of our existence. They hold us sway; they take all the ordinary days of our year and make one moment stand still, and that moment is captured in time. What was happening in our lives. Who we are. Our culture. Our ties to everything we hold dear. And as that tradition is replayed year after year we find ourselves. We remember. We feel.
So during these holidays, we try to make sense of what it means for Henna to light candles in our secular home at Hanukkah. We also make sense of what our own Hennacornoelidays holiday means as we put presents under the table and wait for a half Indian half coyote boy to play some trickes; and what x-mas at Mormor’s means, with our smorgasborg dinner and Santa’s gifts. I try to find a place to give it all meaning-but I now realize how much the simple tradition means; just by being tradition. It is so important to Henna, the ritual, the sameness. She, as we all do, find comfort there. Traditions’ accomplishment is that it infuses meaning into whatever we choose.
So, as we head to Florida on X-mas day, leaving our traditions behind I am struck by their importance and their place. But with all that said, today is a happy day. We love to travel, as we also find comfort and tradition in looking at a map and heading out into the unknown. Today Henna hugged family, sad to leave both family and the snow that was falling, but sat back and sighed and was ready for our next adventure.
Hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday, whatever your traditions may be.