Light-Up Night

Tonight, my Cornerstone friends and I went out for a night on the town for Pittsburgh’s annual light-up night. This, as I learned, means a life-size replica of the Vatican nativity scene, street performers, a parade, exhibitions of Santas from around the world and the world’s coolest gingerbread villages, many Christmas trees, and usually-somber city folk singing along obnoxiously with Christmas carols and smiling uncontainably.

I had to explain to someone the other night that I don’t just laugh when something’s funny (though I do find quite a lot to be funny), I laugh when I’m joyful. This was a night like that. Surrounded by new friends that I love, the already glittering city draped with Christmas lights and accompanied by carols—these are the kind of nights that remind me why I love life so much.

I don’t care about the complaints that Christmas has gotten too commercial. It’s sad in the sense that the people who did it are missing out on something much better, and they’re taking some people with them. But the silly Christmas displays in stores and the ads featuring Christmas carols and the campaigns based around joy and love and warmth and community? They make me happy.

I realized something last night. As silly as this might sound, I’m starting to feel like the kid with the new sibling who realizes her parents’ love isn’t finite, getting smaller for her when it grows for her sibling. You just have more love. But instead of a new sibling, there’s a new city. Without missing or loving my friends and family and home in Colorado any less, I’m starting to find a place here to love, too. A city whose secrets I want to learn and friends whose stories I want to hear. A community full of love and support and serendipitous adventure.

It’s hard to have a heart that dwells in two places at once. But it means I have just that much more to love.

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