It is the time of Halloween…of Samhain (for those of Celtic persuasion)…of the most significant and important presidential election in the USA in my lifetime. I spent almost half my life living in America (mostly NYC plus a swift decade in New Hampshire) before moving to Malta in 1995. My years in America feel as though they were lived in another lifetime, not merely the first part of my life.
I don’t often think a great deal about my previous life in America. I have a different reality now. As a Zen Master would say: “it’s not good, it’s not bad, it just is”. My decades of living in America have formed the bedrock of who I am, even though I now am exploring and honoring different parts of myself linked to my paternal DNA.
But autumn, and the surreal happenings of the U.S. presidential election have changed my psychic balance to a great extent at the moment. This is an ever-shifting dynamic, I know, and does not remain static, and to some extent this shift occurs every autumn.
The seemingly simple question from a good friend in an early morning email sent me on this nostalgic path. She asked me: Do you miss NH? …and after a brief pause, I found myself answering with this list:
I miss being able to take nice long walks along great stretches of empty beaches, sometimes alone, sometimes with a friend, always at the water’s edge at low tide, so my toes could play in the texture of the cool, firm, hard-packed sand while the salt water danced under and over my bare feet.
I miss the NH coastal area for being able to get fresh Maine lobsters without any difficulty, whenever I wanted…and in retrospect, wish I’d done more often!
I miss NH in Aug/Sept when I’d go to my Maltese friend’s house in Kittery, Maine and pick fabulous blueberries from her highbush blueberry grove!
I miss NH in the autumn…watching the leaves turning beautiful bright colors.
I miss NH in the autumn…as I enjoyed raking leaves! (I know, I’m strange).
I miss NH and NYC at Thanksgiving…which was always such a favorite holiday of abundance and pleasures of all kinds. I love roasting a turkey, making cranberry relish, making Julia Child’s recipe for brussels sprouts+chestnuts…eggnog, sweet potatoes, yams, pumpkin pie, mince pie (impossible to make a choice and have only one!). The private permission to overindulge – overeat, perhaps overdrink just a little, stay up too late, and have too much fun with wonderful friends and family (is there such a thing as too much of this picture?)
I miss NYC at Christmas time, as it has such wonderful heightened energy and excitement during that dazzling season of lights and tinsel.
I know the nature of life is constant change…but there are some things I hope never change!