One of the things I love most of J.’s family in PR is how they celebrate. They celebrate occasions big and small, grand and humble. There is celebration for coming home, leaving home, just because, before mass, after mass, breakfast lunch and dinner and snacks, birthdays, anniversaries, when a neighbor visits, religious holidays. Celebrations usually involve creative signage, made with love and care by mi suegra;
Music, singing, and dancing;
Meaningful words, gifted as lively speeches or quiet prayers;
and food, of course, lots of it, and anything from preparing a feast to plucking citrus off a nearby fruit tree.
I grew up with lots of celebration, too; my mom is famous among family members for her holiday decor (no holiday too big or too small). She’s an expert at making things feel special. Both of our families-of-origin value welcoming, hospitality, celebration.
For me, these celebrations are sacred time.
Last week was tough on us, as a couple. I could feel the subtle movements of disconnection, fearfulness, blaming, listlessness, negativity. By Friday night, J. and I were spent; we cancelled plans with friends in favor of a slower-paced date night at a familiar neighborhood pizza place. And we celebrated. We celebrated the week ending. We celebrated creating time to reconnect. We celebrated by toasting our pizza slices and asking Would You Rather questions involving the Braverman family, Sherlock, and fugitives. We celebrated by talking about nothing and everything. We celebrated with food, words, beauty, and guitar strums. It felt like thanksgiving.
“Celebration is nourishment and resource. It makes present the goals of the community in symbolic form, and so brings hope and a new strength to take up again everyday life with more love. Celebration is a sign of the resurrection.”
-jean vanier, community and growth