Philip and I attended a Christmas Eve party at a neighbor’s house. It was illuminating. The gathering was well attended and I spoke with many friends while sharing in food and drink. I enjoyed the usual, Pellegrino water in a wine glass. No one noticed that I wasn’t drinking and I liked that. It was an absolutely enjoyable evening sans vino.
On our way home, we stopped to talk to a new neighbor and introduced ourselves. He was attempting to get this crazy palm tree to light up in his yard. “Hey, why not?” we said, “People celebrate all over the planet.” It was a very pleasant exchange and we made a little more small talk.
When we reached the front door of our house, I realized how sober I was. At first, there was a strange sense of feeling a certain mellowness as if I had consumed few glasses of wine and then PING– I realized it was “all in my head.” Instantly, I became acutely aware of my surroundings and in that awareness, the pleasure of the moment was amplified. The sky looked darker. The air was fresher and the porch light shown brighter.