...so quickly upon finding that smile, that irreplaceable smile as I am the very first to walk out of the International Arrivals gate, one of delight and relief.
My Mom rises up out of her chair in the waiting area and comes towards me with open arms.
I hold her so tight and kiss her on the side of her head.
I can feel the gentle pressure of appreciation as others around our little bubble look on.
It's her. It's my Mom. It always takes a few seconds more to realize she is actually there.
And that I am here.
I will go through the same feelings being welcomed by her wonderful companion, Leonard and then with a whoop, my Sister, Robin a few hours later.
"Welcome Home," the young man at passport control had said. But when he asked me the reason why I am in France, I blurted out, "Happiness!" because you see, I have two families and my honey is there.
But I know how much he wants me to enjoy this time, enough for both of us, so that is what I am doing.
I feel rich with gifts. And buoyed with a profound gratitude.
What a year it has been so far, what beauty I have seen. An appreciation of time waving over and within me. Just as it did as Remi and I strolled hand in hand through the village of Aurel.
So much to see and discover...
...and in such fine company too.
I feel it now as well, right this very instant as I sit outside--outside!--with my laptop delicately balanced on a wrought iron table on my Mom's porch. I am looking out upon a riotous red tree laughing its last and grains from an overstocked bird feeder that are embedded in the earth at my feet. I can hear the reassuring hum of an airplane overhead, knowing others are making their way to their families, as well as the blender's whir of Leonard preparing a battalion of pies in the kitchen. My fingertips are chilled, my coffee gone cold but I am deeply content in the midst of this everyday poetry.
Perhaps it is the glow in my heart that is shedding extra light, making everything come into focus.
And yet I know that many of us have experienced incredible challenges so far in 2012 whether economical, physical or emotional and some have been dealt terrible losses. It is not an easy moment in history, is it? All I know is what I would wish so dearly, for those of us that have been holding an upside down horseshoe, would be to use both hands to force it the right back up, to keep the luck inside.
This year, rather than to only celebrate Thanksgiving--and I will with a cornucopia of sheer delight--I am going to go good will hunting and invite all of you to join me, no matter where on this incredible planet you might be...just for a day, just for ten seconds or just for our lives, to remember that we are all loved and to try to keep our eyes open to not only all that is in front of us but the horizon beyond.
Sending my Very Best from Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.A.
There are many that are still homeless after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy and the rebuilding process will be long. For those of you that would like to donate or donate again: