Thursday, December 05, 2013

Today, Tomorrow

Maybe it will snow...
My life has been such a balance lately, of happiness and small, poignant partings, of solitude and busy-ness, of tension and release, of bustle and pure relaxation. There are the days with my family, days full of noise, of early risings, of multi-tasking, of running up and down stairs, of laughter and pretend-play and small arms about my neck. Offsetting the commotion are my days at the cottage where the activity centers around my own dictates - gardening, long solitary walks, hours of quiet reading, a little desultory housework with now and then a burst of energetic cleaning and painting. No matter which realm I am occupying at any given moment, I find myself thinking, Oh! How lucky I am to be here!

Today is a cottage day. The fog wraps the bare shoulders of the hardwoods and makes ghosts of the pines. There may be snow flurries tomorrow. Inside the cottage Christmas music plays and I sit on the floor surrounded by wrapping paper, scissors, colored pens, tape, boxes, labels, packaging materials, and gifts that must travel for days before arriving at their destination. Last year I had to muster some Christmas spirit. This year it has descended on me all on its own.

I love Christmas not for its religious overtones and certainly not for its often violent pagan beginnings but for my childhood memories. It was a time for secrets and wanting to please, a time for thinking of others as well as one's own wants, a time of special once-a-year foods and decorations, a time of colored lights and tinsel, jingling bells and snow and anticipation. I still love tramping the cold woods looking for the perfect tree, unpacking ornaments that belonged to my parents and to me as a small girl, stringing lights and listening to the Manheim Steamrollers' version of traditional carols. I love  wandering through decorated stores (but only after Thanksgiving) waiting for the exactly right gift to present itself, perusing catalogs, making cookies and holiday breads and fruitcake. (I'm one of the two people in the world who genuinely love fruitcake, the dark kind that's chock full of dried fruits and nuts and soaked in brandy for a month.)

Tomorrow I will pop round to the Post Office with my packages, make and send a few Christmas cards, take a walk in the promised flurries (and perhaps find the Perfect Tree). I will nap, I will read, I will luxuriate in the quiet and enjoy this unexpected rise in spirit toward joy.

A tree from the past.


8 comments:

Brian Miller said...

smiles. the cottage sounds like a warm place to be right now...with the christmas music and you getting you holiday on...we are to get an ice storm this weekend...not sure i am looking forward to that...i would def rather snow...

Tabor said...

It is that roller coaster ride between the busy and the peaceful that sometimes takes my breath away. I love it, but find it hard to say goodbye to each end of the spectrum.

Out on the prairie said...

I need to get on the ball and get busy with the holiday.

Molly said...

What a lovely, calm meditation on how we should feel in this season. It often sets my teeth on edge. But this made me smile, and "a little desultory housework" made me laugh outright!

Hilary said...

It sounds like you're in a perfect place right now. May that spirit always be with you. You write like a dream.

Pauline said...

Brian - the cottage is always cozy - it's my haven.

Oh Tabor, me too, me too!

OOTP - 20 days and counting…

Molly - I have to feel ambitious to be ambitious ;)

Oh Hilary, thanks and I hope so - my life is good right now!

Barbara said...

Love the rhythm of your words and the comforting feel of them. Wishing you a wonderful Christmas season!

Pauline said...

And to you, too Barbara!