Bing Crosby is crooning White Christmas in the background and Calvin, our 1.5 year old neighbor is running through the halls next door, his little feet pattering in quick succession over the hard wood.
We have 'officially' lived in New Orleans for a week... though 98% of our belongings got delayed for five days (word to the wise, when moving across country don't use Pods), so technically we have been 'moved in' for only a day or two. Our home here is old and I love it. They restored the house to be warm and inviting, a quiet place to call home. One of my favorite things (though there are many) is that our bedroom gets dark at night, the only outside noise to be heard is the rustling of the leaves, the rain on the roof, and the ambient noise of the neighbors going about their day (and Calvin throwing a temper tantrum every now and again... the kid is 1.5 I can't blame him). We hung up black out blinds every night in LA, not to mention the chaos and never ending sounds of traffic- helicopters, and sirens screaming past our apartment at all hours of the day and night... in this moment that feel like a life time ago.
I am convinced we live on the best street in all of New Orleans. There is a beautiful park near by. I can walk to a grocery store if I so desire. The pace of life is slow here and your neighbors stop to say hello in the street. People look you in the eye and ask you how things are going ('how you goin?'), strangers say good morning to you like they are old friends of your Aunties; it is refreshing and strange and delightful.
My heart is a layer cake of feelings- joy, nervousness, delight, happiness, fear, but not fear of the soul crushing unknown... fear that pushes you into the next part of your life, good fear. All frosted over with a thick layer of anticipation and expectation for the year to come.
Right now, right this moment, I am sitting on our 'new' sofa (shout out to CraigsList) under a super soft blanket (shout out to WestElm), with Christmas music playing softly (shout out to the little Bose speaker, that thing is THE BEST) and I do you know something? I couldn't tell you the last time I felt this content...
This feeling is one I need to savor, to cherish, to hold close to my heart; for there will be days when things are hard and my heart aches for those I miss so dearly in Los Angeles, Grand Rapids, Denver, Chicago, Seattle, Dallas, Minneapolis, London, Sydney, Costa Rica, and beyond. In those moments I will look back and remember the love and light that is present, even in the darkness, if only I open my eyes to see it.
And so today, my wish for you, is that you may, no matter where you are in this moment, know that you are loved and so worthy of every good and beautiful thing this life has to offer.
With warmth and light and love, from my heart to yours.