One of my least favorite parts of the holiday season is the work of de-decorating. At least in the flurry preparation, there is the excitement of the season and the creativity about adorning the space. De-decorating is some of my lesser favorite practices: cleaning and packing. Needless to say, I did not begin the task in the best of spirits. Historically, I attempt to accomplish this chore as quickly as possible to the rhythm of 80s music. Something about 80s music always helps me palate less than favorable jobs. For some reason, today I just didn’t feel like wrapping to Katrina and the Waves, so I started in silence.
Rather than racing through de-decoration, I found myself noticing so much about each ornament and decoration. There are the swans that previously belonged to my grandmother, the old, tarnished glass balls, the beeswax angel made by children I baby-sat 20 years ago..the list goes on. As I wrapped each ornament, I started to think about the many homes these pieces have decorated–from my first apartment out of college, to my seminary “dorm,” to this home–my first house. These ornaments have seen me grow up and out. These ornaments have seen me fall and fail and fly.
It was in the noticing of the falling, failing, and flying that I realized somehow, someway I have learned to fail and to fall down. More importantly I’ve learned that I only seem to be able to fly if I actually take the risk of falling and failing. I look back at 2013 and see so many ways and places that I’d make different choices today. Five years ago I’d look back, see the ways and places and beat myself up for falling and failing. Today, I feel grateful for all I’ve learned. Today I see those ways and places and don’t even think of them so much as falling and failing and the beginning of flying.