The holidays always bring a certain amount of festive kind of stress, and the first in-law family gathering of the season had its moments.
For a fairly laid-back 29 year old, I felt myself in the rare situation of feeling a bit overwhelmed and over-stimulated. Children crawling over me and opening gifts, fragmented conversations in a confined space, combined with my strategic seating choice between everyone else and the food, was a stark contrast from just a few moments earlier.
Seeing the coming social storm, and just wanting some fresh air, I "borrowed" my wife away from the crowd to snag some photos in the quickly fading light. As she sat in the quiet cold, a pair of swans and several ducks made a beeline to us from perhaps a half mile away. Knowing better than I, Andrea got some bread to throw to our new fowl-friends to share.
Soon enough, we were back inside celebrating the season. However, it's times like this that remind me how often I overlook the tranquility of escaping to the outdoors once and a while.