My growling stomach woke me up this morning around 4:30 am. I am normally not a big breakfast eater, but my belly taunted me relentlessly as I squeezed my insomniac’s eyes shut, praying for just a little bit more sleep. But, suddenly, I opened my eyes, giddy, and buoyantly thankful. Today is the day after Thanksgiving. And the refrigerator is full of leftovers. Though the streetlights still shown through the pitch of night through my shutters, I slunk out of the covers.
It was my breakfast time.
Call me weird, but I do this only once a year. For twenty four hours at Thanksgiving, I eat too much, bordering on gluttony on the southern flavors of my childhood and the spicy flavors of my here-and-now. This morning was no different as I, in blissful solitude, under the glow of my stove top hood light, shoved a plate heaped high into the microwave, poured a cup of coffee, and breathed deeply for the first time in months.
Yesterday, both sides of our family crowded into this kitchen and feasted on southern style Thanksgiving fare, from cornbread stuffing and gravy with giblets, green beans boiled with bacon, and sweet honey cured ham…just to start. But, we also piled our plates high with spicy Indian tastes, such as peas kachori with chili sauce, samoosas, spicy corn pastries, and possibly my favorite ever, paturi. Paturi is a little piece of heaven snack, made from besan flour and yogurt, rolled up into a delicious package covered in coconut shavings, black mustard seeds, and fresh coriander leaves. If I am ever stranded on a desert island, paturi and Breyers ice cream would be all I need. (Never mind the logistics of getting a freezer to the island, it’s my fantasy, ok?) So, yesterday, all of the grandparents, uncles, cousins, and aunts milled around the food, scooping from pans of buttery, bacony, carb-loaded comfort food and tiku, spicy vegetarian flavors we love every day. Our time spent together is all we need to show each other how thankful we are to be a family.
I have so many things personally in my life to be thankful for. I have five beautiful and amazing kids, a loving husband, family around me, my health…you know the spiel. But, the past few months have been a tide of stress washing over me, and all I have been doing is treading water. I’ve been completing a middle grades education degree, student teaching sixth grade language arts, trying to be a mom, and frankly, not doing either job very well at all. But, student teaching is over. And though I am thankful for the opportunity to have taught such awesome students, I am also thankful to be done with my degree, and be reunited with my true love.
I love you, world of education, and I truly love the kids. But my heart is torn between you and my writing. My writing has always been there, loyally waiting for me to admit it. Perhaps I have have both of you in my life…
As always, my writing has gotten put on a back burner to real life, and now it’s time to pull it back out and give it a hug…to finally make it my real life now. Until I find a teaching position, my days will be free again, and I am excited that I can say hello again to my neglected friends…my characters and my readers.
I hope that my novel characters will forgive me for banishing them into their dark closet again. I know that all of this time, Roshan and Jennifer have been stewing in their darkened turmoil, just begging for me to let them see the light of day and exorcise their passions and their demons. The tension must have been terrible for them.
I am thankful for their patience and for the chance now, to burnish them to an end, and set them free at last.
I also hope that my blog readers will once again forgive me for neglecting them. I know some may not have waited for me. People move on. But, I am thankful for those have watched, and waited, for me to come back to them and let them in on my journey once again.
So, as the glow of dawn finally leaked into the kitchen window this morning, I finished my breakfast and walked up the stairs to my office. There, on my desk lay my writing notes, stacked high, layered with dust. And next to them lay my laptop, the fan’s purr speaking to me,
“Thank you for coming. We’ve been waiting a long time.”
I slid into my comfy desk chair, and stared at the screen, with a goofy grin on my face. Running my fingers across the keyboard, I giggled a little like a teenager, thankful the wait was over.