Sunday, December 9, 2012

Gems of joy

It was a cold and rainy day in New York today. The dreary weather was not all bad- it made all the holiday decorations glow even more. It made me linger in different stores longer, taking time to soak in all of the aspects of this vibrant city. This time of year is undoubtedly one of my favorite times of the year. I love all the decorations, the music, the food, being with friends and family. Family. Speaking of family, the first holiday season after losing a beloved family member can be hard. As the holiday season goes on, you are painfully aware of all the traditions they were a part of, all the recipes that were theirs, ... all serving as beautiful memories of them... and reminders of their absence. This holiday season is the first without my grandmother. The moments (and sometimes days) of heartache make the happy moments even sweeter and give a new dimension to spending time with family. Before this year, I think I took the joy of the holidays for granted. This year, joy is easier to recognize- it is a sweet treasure, experienced with genuine appreciation. 

So, as I trudged through the puddles to Lincoln Center I realized that this was the place I had spent many hours dreaming about. The Metropolitan Opera. I couldn't help but take a picture. Ever since I fell in love with opera I have dreamed about this building. I didn't go inside the hall, but I did go inside the store. A video of the Nutcracker was playing inside- not opera, I know, but still one of my favorite things about Christmas. I could have spent hours in that store- from gazing at the beautiful stationary, reading about the different operas, looking through the different books for children about opera (none about Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex, I wonder why??), and even some cookbooks containing favorite recipes of famous singers. Stepping into the store fed my passion for opera, reminded me once again of the amazing potential for beauty that we've all been graciously given, and put a smile on my face. I have a lot to be joyful about. 

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