I was watching a performance by the group Celtic Woman on public television tonight, and at the end of a certain song, I was filled with the kind of warmth that can only be brought about through unconditional love. It’s amazing how something as small as a song played during a concert for a public television funding drive can leave you feeling better, even in the midst of chaos. The song ‘Christmas Pipes‘ has a special meaning for me. Last December I stepped off a Greyhound bus to spend my sixth Christmas with my family of choice. I could never express in words the difference they’ve made in my life, but since I won’t be able to come in for the holidays this year, I’ll try.
Near the end of ‘Christmas Pipes’ the bustle of the choir quiets, and two of the vocalists alternately sing the line ‘good to be home,’ each turning to the other as she sings. As I sat on that bus last year watching that familiar station come closer and closer, knowing I was meeting people I loved and who loved me, that line kept repeating in my head. Good to be home. Like always, I felt my shoulders drop a bit and my jaw loosen slightly. Some of my stress seemed to fall away immediately. Home.
Now, whenever I hear that song, I think of white hot chocolate, the beauty of my sister-of-choice’s smile, her inner child who has brought so much joy to my life, and the warm comfort of my brother-of-choice’s presence. I think of that night when relatives of my FOC were in from a distance away and how we all spent time together, simply enjoying each other’s company. I was half oblivious from 26 hours on a bus, but it fit. Once again, home.
When I was still at school, I would listen with absolute wonder to the stories my classmates told of happy times with their families. It seemed unreal and impossible that families could work like that, but now I understand and have stories of my own.
I’d love to be boarding that Greyhound bus again in a a bit over a week, settling in as schedule 4666 brings me closer and closer to my FOC. Financial issues are preventing that, but we’ll all still be together in spirit. Distance can’t really touch the love that holds a family together. And over the holidays, I’ll be sure to play the song ‘Christmas Pipes.’
Good to be home.