This is my second Christmas away from home. Last year I spend my time in Pai, spinning fire and eating way too much food. This year, I got an all American Christmas. Come to think of it, I did a lot of the same things as last year.
I spend the celebration with my dear sister McKenna and her family. They have a beautiful house that they built in Fairfield, Connecticut. It’s a lovely little town, right on the beach. It was a shame that it was so cold as I would have loved to have a swim, but I also didn’t want hypothermia.
I arrived on the 18th so had about 9 days to spend with McKenna and her family. She had to work a few times which allowed me space to get to know her mum and dad. They were both so warm and welcoming to me.
Susie, McKenna’s mum (or “mom” in American English) very generously bought me a 30 day pass for her yoga studio which was amazing. Kaia is a hot yoga space which meant, for me, it was just like practising back in Indonesia. It helped my ankle heal even more too and it’s now starting to relax even more.
New York City
McKenna and I also got to spend a weekend in New York City with her friends. One night we went to a fabulous gay club called House of Yes in Brooklyn. The night was filled with dancing, live bands, drag performances and glitter. McKenna and I sported our glitter kimonos that our friend, Mae, in Pai made for us. Everyone was very jealous of our outfits.
I also got to meet Jack Daut, McKenna’s brother. He lives in an apartment in Brooklyn. We went and ate at a delicious vegan buffet, followed by a bunch of vegan doughnuts. I was so satisfied with this.
Chapel Of Sacred Mirrors
We also went to a winter solstice event at COSM – Chapel of Sacred Mirrors. It was in upstate New York and I have honestly never been so cold in my entire life. I’ve been in cold before, but this was something else. When we left, it was 15 degrees Fahrenheit which is – 9 degrees Celcius. Too cold for this little button.
McKenna was spinning in the fire space which meant that I didn’t get to see her spin so much, and I also chose not to have a burn myself as my fingers would have literally snapped off. Instead, I hung around inside observing the artwork and dancing to the DJ’s.
It was a very interesting space. The ‘leaders’ are psychedelic artists that create paintings which sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. They are building an all-inclusive church on their stunning property.
If you google it, it comes up with it being a cult. However, it didn’t really feel like that when I was there (but maybe that’s just part of the plan). It just seemed like an awesome party at someone’s uncle’s house who had a lot of cool artwork and was probably a hippie in the sixties.
Christmas was spent in a very wholesome way. On Christmas Eve, McKenna and I went to her local church and sung carols by candlelight. It filled my heart with so much joy. I’m not a religious person, but singing with that many people, linking arms with one of my best friends – that was nice.
We then went to McKenna’s friend Liam’s house with her other friend Danielle. We ate ice cream and giggled all night. These are some of McKenna’s friends from a very young age, so it was lovely to be able to see where she came from.; to see the people that shaped her.
Christmas day was a very relaxing time. We spent the morning eating bagels, opening presents and watching Christmas movies. These activities also rolled into the afternoon.
Santa must have gotten the memo that I was over the other side of the world because he very generously left me a few presents at the Daut’s house for me to open with them. Socks, gift vouchers, scratchies and a watermelon bumbag were in the mix.
When night fell, McKenna and I went to the backyard and did a fire spin for the family. Fire spinning makes her mum very nervous, so she didn’t stay for too much. But McKenna and I danced into the night.
I cannot begin to express the gratitude I have in my heart for the Daut family. They welcomed me into their home and hearts for the holidays which is a time that is very sacred to a lot of families. I felt like I had such a safe space to be in this time when home felt very far away.
So the biggest thank you’s go to John, Jack and Suzie Daut for everything you did to make me feel comfortable. And to my dearest sister, McKenna Mooncake. You’re the best.
I’m in New York for a while. I’m going to take this time to establish what I’m going to do next because I have no idea. Any tips or advice, I’m always happy to hear it.