The holiday weeks have come to a close and although, in our house, we wouldn’t mind having one more week to putter, read, knit, sew, cook, and sleep in, we were in good spirits this first Monday of 2015. We think we are finally getting the hang of this! We’ve learned that we can choose what kind of show we want “the holidays” to be. Our goal this holiday season was to find a happy balance of activity and rest during the two weeks, versus juggling so many activities that we would end up feeling exhausted by January 1. Thus, for each active or social day, we balanced it out with a quiet stay-at-home day, i.e. reading, knitting, sewing, sleeping in… We realize now that we can try, as much as possible, to apply this formula to the rest of the year.
The two weeks began with a celebration of the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. We drove north two hours to Santa Barbara to attend “The Christmas Revels,” an Irish celebration of the winter solstice. Prior to the performance, we decided to visit the Santa Barbara Historical Museum, to see an exhibit about architect and draftswoman Lutah Maria Riggs, who left her mark on Santa Barbara landmarks such as the Lobero Theatre, where the “The Christmas Revels” was being performed.
A couple of hours later we were sitting in our seats in the Lobero Theatre, appreciating Lutah Maria Riggs’ art and craft. I looked up at the ceiling and took this photo just before the lights dimmed and the show started.
“The Christmas Revels” takes place on board the S.S. Furnessia, as the ship makes her journey from Londonderry to Ellis Island in December of 1907, 60 years after the potato blight when millions escaped famine and disease. By now, although the passengers in steerage class are not wealthy, they are in better shape physically and emotionally. The journey by steamer is shorter – between seven and ten days – and many travelers plan to join relatives already established in the United States. Still, the passengers aboard the Furnessia have gambled everything on making a new life in a new land, leaving behind loved ones and all that is familiar, carrying the barest minimum of personal possessions. They are excited about arriving in their new country, but also sad about leaving their homeland. The passengers begin as strangers and become a community, coming together to find comfort. They share stories, dance, and sing. When the sun rises and the long-anticipated sight of Lady Liberty appears on the horizon, tears rolled down my cheeks, for I was thinking about all immigrants, past and present, who find the courage to leave the familiar and walk into a new future, where they will try new things, form new bonds, and eventually learn how to belong to a new place.
At one point, all of the performers and all of the audience sang this round for peace. It was beautiful!
Then, when we went outside, the sun was setting and a flock of birds flew over us. Bill, Natalie and I tilted up our heads to the blue and orange sky. Although it seemed a bit risky to be standing under so many birds, it was too beautiful to budge. Here’s a two-second clip to see what it was like:
Do you wonder what the difference is between the words “emigrate” and “immigrate”?
To emigrate means to leave one country or region to settle in another; or to migrate away from one’s native place.
To immigrate means to come to a country of which one is not a native, usually for permanent residence.
Therefore, the difference between emigrate and immigrate relates to the point of view of which country is the country of origin and which is the destination country. You emigrate from one country and immigrate to another country.