A red happy coat

…not necessarily the one we think of at this time of year, but better…

If you read last week’s post, you know that I practice meditation. In my case, “practice” is the fitting word, even after years of it, I need work. I have a busy brain, which does not compliment zen, so the best I can say is that I’m consistent… well, more like almost every day … I used to tell my older kids when they were in school, and find myself repeating a lot lately with my 15-year-old, “If you just show up to class and hand in the work, you’re gonna pass.” By that standard, I would give myself a healthy, strong meditation C+. I know from professional expertise that even middle of the bell curve students walk away with increased content knowledge, and after all this time, I too am noticing that some things have stuck.

One of those is a physical awareness of emotion. In other words, when I find myself anxious, sad, feeling envy, or angry, I stop and observe how it manifests in my body. While it doesn’t necessarily cure or conquer an uncomfortable feeling, it enables me to separate from the intense sensation of the sentiment, facilitating objectivity to the experience, and helps me feel a bit more in control. It’s something I’ve trained up in myself, but typically only used with negative emotions or uncomfortable experiences.

A few weeks ago, I was waiting in the parking lot pickup line at the train station. It was the Saturday afternoon after Thanksgiving, and Kit, my older daughter, was coming in from Grand Central. She lives in Hoboken, NJ and her visits home entail a PATH train, subway, and Metro North ride. It takes an hour and a half, and she has two jobs, so she doesn’t make it back easily or frequently. She hadn’t gotten home for Thanksgiving due to a stomach bug, and I was eager to see her.

As the train came in, I quickly scanned the windowed entrance to every car as it passed, just the way I had as a kid, at the same train station, in the back of our station wagon, competing with my brothers to spy dad first as he came in from work. I looked back and forth quickly, as if still in the same competition, and out of the corner of my eye I caught a red coat, yes, there she was, her red coat. And with that awareness, I observed a flitter in my heart, felt it filling, and noticed a high frequency of the feeling. As she walked towards the car and I watched her, I registered it, and over the course of the weekend I returned to it purposefully.

We did a lot of what we always do when she comes home, cooked together, enjoyed a wine she brought with her, caught up on hers and my friends, nothing too out of the norm… except my own deeper appreciation of her presence, increased gratitude for the joy she brings to me, and a now conscious and permanent memory of Kit in her red coat, and how it made my heart flit and fill. 

So this weekend, when they’re all home for Christmas, I plan on giving myself the best gift I could get, that same awareness with each one of them. … My heart’s gonna be bursting!

Merry Christmas!  To all those who celebrate, may the hope represented in the birth of Jesus bring healing and joy as we persevere these trying times, and awareness of the gifts living and breathing in our kitchen’s (and oversleeping up in their rooms)… and to all of you who don’t, may the loving energy percolating this season embrace and scoop you up like a big warm inclusive hug.

Kit and her heart-filling happy red coat

4 thoughts on “A red happy coat

  1. Love the connections of the generations. May the joy of the red coat surround you this Christmas and always. Looking forward to celebrating decades upon decades of joy and hope in health with you and your family. Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Those are the warmest Christmas wishes I have received, Naomi. They shall stay with me all season and beyond! Such wisdom! And of course I wish the same for you! ❤️🎅


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