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Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Through the Woods

by Lisa Bullard

12_17SantaSleighA few years ago I decid­ed to vis­it a friend in North Car­oli­na over the hol­i­days, and the only way I could afford the air­fare was to fly on Christ­mas Day. I admit to a case of self pity as I set out, pic­tur­ing the rest of the world in their new paja­mas, open­ing presents and rev­el­ing in a hol­i­day feast, while I suf­fered the long lines, cramped seats, and oth­er indig­ni­ties that air trav­el offers

What was I think­ing, leav­ing home for Christ­mas? How could I pos­si­bly enjoy anoth­er family’s hol­i­day tra­di­tions? Would it even feel like Christ­mas in a place where pan­sies were still bloom­ing?

And then I spot­ted a fam­i­ly at the air­port who were all decked out in San­ta caps, the two young chil­dren big-eyed with excite­ment as they pre­pared to jour­ney over the riv­er and through the woods to Grandmother’s house. They hadn’t left their Christ­mas at home: they were car­ry­ing it with them, packed along with their tooth­brush­es and clean under­wear for the trip.

My entire mood turned instant­ly ebul­lient. All it took was that reminder that even when we trav­el far away, we still car­ry a lit­tle part of home with us.

Writ­ing is a jour­ney too. It might begin with the things we know best, but even­tu­al­ly our imag­i­na­tions take us into unfa­mil­iar ter­ri­to­ry. Some­times this is exhil­a­rat­ing. Some­times it’s uncom­fort­able or even a lit­tle scary. The best thing to do is to keep mov­ing for­ward, tak­ing out what­ev­er lit­tle part of home we’re car­ry­ing with us when we need some reas­sur­ance.

The path to Grandmother’s house may take us through the woods. But nev­er for­get that Grand­moth­er is wait­ing on the oth­er side with a big cup of hot cocoa and a thou­sand twin­kling Christ­mas lights.

One Response to Through the Woods

  1. David LaRochelle December 18, 2015 at 12:13 pm #

    One of my most mem­o­rable, and enjoy­able hol­i­days was when some friends and I spent the week before Christ­mas in Palm Springs. I nev­er in my life dreamed I’d be spend­ing Christ­mas time where the flow­ers were bloom­ing and peo­ple strung lights on palm trees. Being open to new expe­ri­ences is a very good thing for a writer…or any­one!

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