Today is December 24th, 2014. It is the Christmas Eve in this beautiful city that I call home for more than a decade, Toronto. The weather is cloudy and drizzly. The atmospheric sogginess has completely swept away the whiteout tranquility that the city was gifted with by Mother Nature just a few weeks ago, making it appear to be about to embrace the freshness of the spring, instead of the festive chilliness of the winter holiday season.
As the traditional plans for this time of the year, most Torontonians will be reunited with their family members and loved ones, giving each other hugs and kisses, while eating and chatting the night away in the warmth and coziness of home. Unlike most others, I sit here in my apartment, enjoying the peace and quiet that this moment brings.
Being away from home during the holidays was not easy at first. As time passes, it no longer seems; more importantly, feels that unbearable. My self-defense mechanisms make me realize that, after all, holidays are just another day. Although it would be wonderful to be hugged and kissed by my loved ones; however, I can still survive without receiving the tactile comfort from those that I love.
During this holiday season, on my way to subway everyday, I often walk past people, who don’t have a shelter to stay, in the streets. Most of them are a lot older than I am. As I observe their withered skin, smell their unwashed odor, and catch them saying “Happy Holidays” to me in the hopes of my sparing them with a toonie or two, I am perplexed by the difficult experiences that life has given them, while being fully immersed in a sea of fast-moving and cheerful holiday-shoppers, who are all decked out by H&M, Chanel and Sport Chek plastic bags that they carry.
Holidays are for sharing and celebration of love. They are also a time of deep contemplation. Through deep contemplation can we truly figure out what it is that we love.