Seeing Beyond the Glimmer



Years ago, around Christmastime, I was traveling in

a neighborhood not necessarily looking for homes decorated

with Christmas lights, but I did notice the lights. One house stood out

because it was outlined with lights around the structure of the home

and other decorative lights in the yard. This house had more lights

than the norm.


After looking for awhile, I looked up on the roof top and saw a cross.

This thought occurred, if I had not looked up and saw the cross,

I would have missed the cross. Even more so,  the thought occurred,

this is how it is at Christmastime. There’s often much hype around

the season others do not take time to reflect or honor the

significance of the season.


Whether you’re sipping on hot chocolate with the family around

the fire, or sitting around the fire roasting chestnuts, beyond the

lights and glimmer, let’s not forget the true meaning for this season.

When all the gifts are opened, family from far or near are gone, it is

never wrong or too late to take time to reflect and see beyond

the glimmer.

~Yvonne L.






Home is a safe place where individuals retreat. In society, it does not matter the socio-economic or cultural background, regardless of age, sex, or creed, individuals desire a safe place from the cares of life.  Many find home represents a happy place of warmth. Home depicts a place where dreams and visions come alive- where family shares traditions.

The noted author, and poet, Maya Angelou is known for her infamous literary works. She was a woman of wisdom.  According to poet Angelou, “you can never go home again, but the truth is you can never leave home, so it’s all right.” When individuals journey to the place they call home, it is not the journey, nor the destination, it is the connection to the memories of the past, present, future. Home is an experience. It is the observance of rituals, traditions, shared family values, and familiarity.

While working on a college essay, I became interested in the literary works of Joan Didion. In On Going Home a short story by the author, Joan Didion shares her feelings of returning to her birthplace to celebrate her daughter’s birthday.  Currently sharing a home with her husband and daughter in another state, Didion calls her native place of birth home because this is where she hold her fondest memories.

Throughout the story, Didion shares memories of conversations with family members. Some of the conversations were spent mostly at the family dinner table. It is interesting to see the writer’s openness about details most would consider private family secrets.

In the story, it is surprising to see the author’s willingness to share details of her family’s shortcomings since many families are not as candid.  Didion reveals the conversations about family members they knew either in mental hospitals, on drugs, or dealing with drunk-driving charges.  Also, she is forthcoming when revealing her brother’s disconnect to her husband.

Didion points out her husband does not relate to her upbringing, although he likes her family. She describes her husband as feeling comfortable mostly at home with her. He enjoys their way of living they are accustom.

In the disclosure of her true feelings, Didion demonstrates the familiarity of an environment is what makes an individual feel at home. It was obvious Didion and her husband’s upbringings and perspectives were worlds apart.

The theme in this story is home is in the heart. After reading Didion’s story, apparently her heart was in one place considered home while her while her husband’s heart was another.

The truth is- home is a place one feels comfortable and connected. It’s apparent home is not always a tangible place, or a place of lavish extravagance but a place of love, security, and comfort. The relevance of this truth is evident when some find themselves in a physical home where abuse and violence occurs.