Longing for the Familiar

In Publications by Allison Byxbe

In the tense uncertainty, I find myself groping for the familiar.

Newly married, newly a mom, and newly relocated, I craved familiarity when, for the first time ever, I moved 600 miles away from where I grew up. I baked my sister’s tried-and-true chocolate chip cookies often, because the tantalizing smell would immediately transport me back to her house. I’d throw together taco casserole right before the college football game broadcast because of the strong memories of Saturdays spent this way with my mom. The familiar became my comfort in all that was new and upended, a way to remind myself that the world as I knew it still existed, even if only in my mind (and kitchen).

Similarly, I find myself groping for the familiar now. I thought by this month, so close to the end of 2020, we’d be back to normal, back to the people and places and rhythms we all know and yearn for so deeply. And yet, we’re not. Are we closer to or further from it? Most days, I honestly don’t know.

COVID-19 has fractured our cities, our people, our families, and our plans. In this moment of history that seems to be stretching out endlessly, I’m tired and wearied, like so many of you. If I’m not mindful, I become consumed by the bleakness and harshness I feel all around me. All the loudness and fighting and divisiveness—I listen to it like I’d watch a horrific accident I’m passing, in seeming slow motion, on the interstate.

I seem to be able to peel my eyes away from this chaos only by…….join me for the rest at The Glorious Table.