Winter Wonderland

Oh to live in mildly snowy climates forever. To celebrate my first Christmas alone, I walked through the holiday ghost town of Lexington to find other solitary souls. I set the goal of saying “Merry Christmas” to one person on my walk.

After a hearty breakfast and the application of several layers, I set out into the great white landscape with my water bottle, my phone, and my point-and-shoot camera. Down past the first church in my path I noticed a single set of footprints. I looked up to find one other soul shoveling snow. Our eyes met and I walked on, joining the footprints before me in the otherwise virginal snow. It was Christmas after all. Cars whizzed by infrequently. Businesses had drawn in their doors and locked them days before. I walked on past glowing homes that occasionally let out sounds of laughter and music. At present, in my life, I am working to dismantle feelings of jealousy. Everything is a test.

I took the time to notice the little things about Lexington during my walk. The graffiti on mailboxes and hidden alleyways jumped out at me into my camera lense. The historical plaques about our parks and other monuments gripped me in ways that they never have before. I love this city. Between the snow clogged sidewalks and abandoned parks I found one other lonely soul doing the same things as me. I hope they saw me and realized that even in our aloneness we are never alone.

With the people snuggled up in their homes the city was silent enough to let me hear the sound of my own footsteps and the narrative of my thoughts. Before leaving that morning, I both discovered I missed a critical deadline for a grad school application and heard all about my parents Christmas cruise. The winters chill did a good job of clearing my head. I dreamt about my future as I walked. I realized that I will always have everything I need and will always have the strength create a good life for myself. It’s a funny thing to walk around a consumer holiday with the knowledge that beauty cannot be bought.

I walked an invisible agent in a city only dotted with visible souls. My walk led me to the far ends of town and back and in it I found a city at rest, examined only by others like me. Of the few people I came across, I traded a few smiles. That night, while outside a bar where I had reconnected with my friends, a man noticed me and let out a joyful “Merry Christmas”. “You too!” I said. You too.

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