Winter break is my favorite break. It’s between semesters, so it actually feels like a break, but it’s also short enough that I don’t feel a desperate need to find something significant to do with my time, like I do in the summer. Of course, there are still things to be done and plans to be made, but nonetheless it’s the break that I find best lives up to the title of “break.” But, to get to the point, what I really want to write about today has to do with one of the things I am doing with this precious, rare free time.
Every year during the holidays I re-read Willa Cather’s Lucy Gayheart. It’s a personal tradition that came about by accident. I can’t actually remember when it started, only that I realized I read the book around the same time every year three years ago and at that point decided to make a conscious effort to continue. If I had to take a guess, I would say that this is probably my sixth year of re-reading Lucy Gayheart, but I’m not entirely sure. It might have been five or seven. Regardless, when it started doesn’t really matter, only that it continues, because every year I find that reading it takes on more and more significance. Every year, I take away something different from the story, which ultimately tells me just as much about where I am, personally, as it does about the novel.
The special thing about a personal tradition like this is that it’s not dependent on anyone else—times change, relationships change, people relocate, drift apart, etc., etc., etc.—it’s completely reliable, and totally under my control. I have absolutely no excuse for missing it—I can read it anywhere, at any time, even if I forget my copy, because it is under public domain and therefore available for free online. Then again, I also have no intention of missing it, because the year wouldn’t feel complete without reading Lucy Gayheart. And I, for one, am really, really, really ready for 2016 to be over and done with.
Does anyone else have any personal traditions? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!
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Sophomore at Wellesley College majoring in Biological Sciences and Cinema & Media Studies. Wellesley News Arts Editor, WCTV Technical Director, and Film Society Treasurer. Intern at Film School Rejects.