A Dean Visit

It’s been a nice couple of days here in Dean. I’ve exchanged gifts, visited with relatives and taken part in abundant food and drinks. I must vouch for strawberry wine as a delicious drink. I can’t deny my family creates an inviting and energizing environment. It’s been envigorating to step back into this time with family and into my first home.
I received some very appropriate and surprising presents this year. Everyone in my family knows I wear black nearly exclusively and now they’ve begun giving me other items that are black as well. My parents gave me a large black laundry basket filled with numerous black items, including towels, a coffee mug, a water bottle, a radio, napkins and gloves. In addition they gave me black bowls and plates, a pair of black shirts and a black coffee maker. Ilea and Greg gave me two new pairs of black Thai fisherman’s pants and other relatives gave me household things in black. Outside of the black items there was an Insight From the Dalai Lama calander, a Bothers Hildebrandt art book, maple syrup, a very nice green stone windchime from Ilea, incense and an incense holder, a tiny Buddha statue (my third Buddha), a new dresser and a beautiful bamboo box filled with a dozen different varieties of tea. The box of tea may in fact be the most exciting part, because I’ll have weeks of experimentation with it.
One of the highlights of my visit was a talk I had with my father this morning. We went to his shed and started up the wood stove and spent a long while talking about the state of Canada and the world and where we might go from here. It’s good to be able to share that bond of intelligent, engaging and meaningful conversation with him, another aspect of my family I’m thankful for. In the past couple years I’ve come to appreciate his compassionate and pragmatic stances, even though we may disagree on some issues.
In the afternoon a bunch of my extended family visited for a while. It was a joy to play with my cousin Hailey, who is such a sweet and sharp child. She ended up having me act out with her, using a pet shop play set she had, a scene that involved Buddha buying a pet, which ended up being a bunny. Her energy and seizure-like fits of joy always lighten rooms, and never fail to sow some doubt in my intention to not have children of my own.
During the visit my cousin May noticed the dark blue Christmas stocking that Ashley gave to me during the Cristmas she spent here and asked where I’d gotten it. “That was from Ashley,” my mother said.
“The girl Apollo dated from America?” asked May.
“Yes, they’re friends now,” went on my mother. “And that,” she said, pointing to the amber necklace I always wear, “was given to him from Susana, who lives in Mexico.”
“And she is beautiful!” she exclaimed, giving the impression she wanted to ask, “You’re often around beauiful women, so what’s wrong with you that has kept you single?”
I’ve thought on that unasked question and I sure can’t answer it. It’s not as if I’m actively seeking romance; I’m generally content to stumble upon it whenever it takes place on my journey. I can’t say I don’t have those moments often when I long to have someone to share my days and nights with; there’s no way to kill the romantic in me without losing all that’s vital about who I am. But I’ll let the mystery bring those women I might fall in love with into my path when it will and maintain my love, care and admiration for those I’ve fallen out of the dance with.

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