For the past 11 years or so, I’ve spent all my fourth of July-s away from home, usually at the New York Summer Conference or, one year, in Nova Scotia. This time of year has always been associated with traveling and the spiritual high I usually got during the five-day conference, so being away from the East Coast and not attending for the first time in a while…it’s different.
Today, though, was pretty much a dream. K and C ended up coming over and then sleeping over last night after we got locked out of DL, which was nice, although having guests over for my first time definitely reminds me that I need to buy more blankets and things; BUT ANYWAY. E and I decided we wanted to wake up at 9am to start our cooking preparations for today, went to sleep around 3am, and then woke up at 9:40. Bad bad bad, but somehow we managed to put together two tray-fuls of pesto chicken pasta in about 40 minutes, which was unreal and stressful but a learning experience. J came over to pick us up at around 11, and then we headed off to Tilden, where 20-some of us were meeting for a picnic.
Picnicking never truly felt like picnicking to me, mostly since in the past I’ve usually gone to parks with benches or facilities to use, mostly in huge groups where I can’t interact with everyone nor do I really know how to…but this afternoon was just sun, grass, food, music, and games. It was really ideal—I don’t know how to describe it, but I took some video clips which I think are pretty epitomizing of the day. Completely stress free, in the company of a lot of fun people, enjoying the weather and listening to all the musical talent in our group slowly being displayed in rotation, jokes, meeting new friends, seeing old ones, etcetera.
And then after a short breather at home, we somehow and pretty spontaneously all found ourselves piled back in cars, determined to see the fireworks. Our original two plans fell through, but we ended up at the Big C, unprepared for the hike but finding the view completely worth it. It gets cold up there, but sitting and being able to overlook Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco, and the Marina fireworks was also something out of a movie…I rarely get to see fireworks, too, especially because of the summer conference. I was privileged to have such a view that allowed for some really nice night-city photos, which I’ve always wanted to try taking up there in the hills but have never out of inconvenience…just perfect.
And then after N’s not-so-subtle declarations of “Let’s get ice cream!”, a bunch of just drove back to D-house for dessert/Taboo (“This happens, and then I sin :(.” “Temptation!”)/good conversation, and here I am again, back in the apartment and feeling grateful for all the people God’s placed in my life and this specific town he’s put me in, and the life he’s given me and so drastically changed perspective he’s granted me, especially when I think back to myself from a few years ago…lost and wishing for community and people my age and just wanting to go to college and get away. But now that this is all fulfilled, I see that I am actually endlessly thankful for that period of time when I was always in some mild form of depressive thinking, since it’s only because of being uncomfortable for so long that I can really appreciate all this beauty dispersed in my life now, and thank God for those trying times I did have to go through.
I always say I hate change, and that’s because it’s uncomfortable…but I’m quickly realizing that when I embrace it, and put the past to an active rest (being happy with the memory but not forgetting it), then I can let my full self be put into investing into the present and what’s going on around me. Missing the old Klesis, but definitely through today seeing how beautiful the new one is.
Thank you guys.