Hogmanay is the Scots word for the New Years Celebration, typically celebrated with fireworks and a procession of carrying torches through Edinburgh dressed in kilt. Photo compliments of Edinburgh Hogmanay official site.
Walking barefoot up the driveway, knapsack slung over shoulder, and hair pulled up in a patterned red bandana, I trudged up the long dirt driveway Tuesday morning, the 20th of December after too many hours of cross-continental journey.
Didn’t bother to tell anyone that I’d make it home for Christmas.
I guess it was a bit of a shock to them all. Mom started crying, and she got all emotional. I think it’s a mom thing.
Back in Dundee, Scotland, I think it was right about my twenty-eighth listen of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” that it began to sink in.
The way in which my Christmas playlist included every known version of that song from Bing Crosby to Rascal Flatts, Frank Sinatra to The Carpenters, Michael Buble, Elvis Presley, Josh Groban, Sarah McLachlan, Kelly Clarkson, Johnny Mathis.
They all had a go at the carol.
I would know.
I began to think that perhaps there was something beyond just a simple fascination of the song, some sort of subtext I still can’t pinpoint.
Needless to say, I made it home.
Never did figure out about that song fetish though.
My To Do before trekking back to the land of the Scots includes primarily getting a tan.
If only for the sole intent of ceasing the incessant inquiries as to the quasi transparency of my white skin if I was supposedly from “California.”
Well that, and procuring a cheese slicer before I head back over, to make the production of toasties a relatively simper ordeal.
Just a wee while back, would be measured round bout a year ago on this Gregorian calendar of ours, I fought, and bit, and fought some more to get outta this star spangled country and cross over quite a few borders.
It was something I needed to do.
This year, I fought (with myself) to be back home, paid 600 pounds, traveled for 31 hours, took a month off work, and abandoned the opportunity of a White Christmas.
Just to be back home.
Because it was something I needed to do.
I hope I stop needing to do things.
It’s getting kind of expensive.
Looking back over my pale Scottish shoulder at where I was this time last year, I figure I’ve covered a bit of distance.
And, I may have learned a thing or two, although I beg you not to ask of me what seeing as I’m still not all too sure myself.
Written in my journal a year ago, from January 1st, 2011 as I sat in the airport about to fly out to Thailand for university at 12:04 am, reads,
“I have been anticipating this moment since the dawn of time and before, marking it my bridge to freedom and the gateway to independence. But somehow in my mind, I’d always envisioned it with a bit less jet lag, and there was definitely a significant increase in the flowery scent of my aroma and my hair had a bit more curl, and a bit less grease to it. I was to be self actualized, with a fully endowed D-cup, and pristinely decoupaged matching suitcases. There would also be a scarf gently drifting behind me, you know, daintily traipsing in the ever constant breeze.
Yeah, well, that didn’t exactly happen. This new years as the clock strikes twelve, I’m considering it beneficial to mankind on a whole that I’m not kissing anybody, as I run the tip of my tongue against the grit caked up in chunks clinging to the back of my fuzzy travel teeth. Travel teeth, in accordance with contacts so dry I’m considering soaking them in Head and Shoulders. Not entirely how I’d imagined it, in fact it’s a little left of center, a little lotta left of center. But I wouldn’t have it any other way in the world.”
So I hope this New Year finds you not quite exactly where you thought you were gonna be, but instead, exactly and precisely where you ought to be.
And for me, that was home.