This time last year, I did not feel comfort at all. I did not feel that delightful consolation of the holiday season. We had to temporarily vacate our home and I found myself in distress almost every day for nearly two months.
Well, this end-of-year, I’ve vowed to take back joy and make up for all the joy I denied myself of last December/January. Starting now, I am reclaiming comfort…
Q: How do I plan on doing this when our national health crisis is worsening?
A: With my most radical, nobel, and intentional heart.
What if one day we looked back and realized that every comfort we needed during 2020 never actually went away— that many forms of comfort were available to us from the pandemic’s beginning to its seemingly non-existent end…
The Comfort of Others:
Spending time with our nuclear family or those in our quarantine “bubble” may have been borderline intolerable at times, but I look at how tight-knit my family and I have become; I look at the memories we’ve created, the talks we’ve had, the tears we’ve shed, our random road trips, in-car picnics, movie and uno card game nights… I look at it all and see solid traditions. I recall the times Keith and I were unoccupied long enough to cradle a child or one another. I think about our family’s new understandings of one another that we could’ve only established through these given circumstances.
…even those we loved and lost, who are resting easier, seem nearer in a way.
The Comfort of Home:
It started out with a summer home improvement idea or project here and there; and now, home is adorned with buffalo plaid and the warm glow of Christmas tree lights… who wants to leave now? I can’t say that during the pandemic I’ve ever felt “stuck” at home, rather I’ve felt very safe knowing that inside, we can better maintain the habits that have helped us stay well. Certainly now that we are in the holiday season, there’s more about these safe havens that make sheltering-in-place not-so-complicated.
The Comfort of Holiday:
For most people (definitely not all– I, myself, was depressed this time last year), decorating our homes for the holidays can uplift our mood and improve our people/family relations. Christmas music instantly ignites our levels of dopamine, that happy hormone, and we believe stronger, hope greater, and somehow are able to recapture the magic of a childhood memory we find fond. In the holiday home, comfort nearly becomes a fragrance— cookies being baked, roux being made, and candles being burned…
The Comfort of My Truths:
Oh, the things! …The things I feel and know to be raw and real… these valid things that don’t deserve to be hidden or quieted. I am at a place where I can sit with emotions, talk through specific hurts and confusion, express myself through God-gifts, and allow a range of emotions to liberate me into a balance— into a beautiful authenticity! My truth, revealed, brings comfort to my soul. I don’t feel a need to hide or put on a facade that I am existing perfectly in the world like I did in my twenties. For the things we hide are still a part of us and when the world is not watching, we should aim to be that same expanding human being— even if she is both folded and unfurled.
These are comforts I am claiming on behalf of many in the final days of this rat year.
Clinnesha is a wife, mom, daughter/sister/auntie, literary artist, humanities scholar, and social entrepreneur. Her advocacy work is at the intersection of black/feminist thought, arts, culture, and community.