wherever you are

Today, I am at my aunt's North Carolina ranch house eating turkey and barbecue chicken and turnip greens and deviled eggs and candied yams with 40 or 50 aunts, uncles, cousins, family, family, family.

And most of you reading this right now are somewhere else, doing a similar thing or not.

You're dozing in the chair, overcome with love for the too-tiny-to-travel baby on your chest.

You're in a group of people and missing a person who once upon a time used to be with you in this group of people.

You're toasting to love and chosen family and laughing your ass off.

You're on a walk by yourself, planning to snuggle up with a book later.

You're walking in the door and being greeted by huge hugs from a family that loves you intensely.

You're with people you care about who push every button grate on every nerve test every boundary.

You're stuck where you are, sick or broke or depressed, refreshing social media again and again.

You're at a service, feeling the hard pew against your back, hearing a story you hear every year, and still listening with all your heart.

You're cleaning out your closet because this day holds no special significance for you.

You're serving the Christmas meal for the very first time, and you're excited about the sweet potatoes that came out just right.

From where I am here, I am loving you over there where you are. You are not alone.