Warning!! The following thoughts could be understandably construed as moody, anti-festive, Scrooge-like....I blame the music ....on a dusky drive through winter valleys, listening to oh-so-atmospheric Les Jupes (swooooon!), a quick image of a farmer closing gates in the light of their headlamps with their faithful dog waiting, cattle as dark shapes grazing on snowy pasture, my fiddle passenger side (going to the annual squeakfest!!).
It might just be me, but somehow, I don't think so. December needs to be reigned in on its headlong plunge toward its cumulative overdone celebrations! At least this is the way December exists here in our house. It seems every opportunity to merry merry bursts in, strangling this most wonderful time for quiet contemplation. Always tension, waiting for the big exhale on January 5th or so...
Maybe the waiting aspect is more defined this year with the expected arrival of so many babies. What requires patience more than waiting for a baby to finally decide it's time for the big show? I remember discomfort, niggling worries about labour and whether memory served up accuracy on the pain level. But this year, I'm on the other side. Waiting for friends and sister to announce arrivals. That tense waiting, is it going to be early, on time (are they ever??), or the dreaded two week overdue scenario (been there, doing cartwheels and polkas around my backyard trees in unanswered efforts of expedition).
The call for quiet, connection with family and friends, and anticipation becomes a pulse heartbeat. Sometimes I struggle with the question, "How can I connect with people when all I seem to be doing is running toward meeting some self-or-other-imposed expectation? Maybe the expectation is perfectly iced cookies, or perfectly aligned Christmas lights, or another concert or making this the "perfect" Christmas memory for my children. What I need is a few moments, everyday, to sit, knit?, draw, think by the fire, by myself, or with my children in my lap. To really settle into these moments given to us before Christmas arrives. To explore what the Christ child's arrival means, or doesn't mean, to us. Why crowd ourselves into this crazy rush when, if we believe, it doesn't align with Christ's true purpose, or, if we don't believe, what the hell is all this holiday stress meant to achieve?
And so here I am. In snowy landscape with the common December grey clouds hanging here. Perfect for my long sought activity of waiting. Humid air brings fog and isolation. Watching hoar frost settle around branches. Urges me to remain focused, calm, maintaining a solitary drive and to keep shedding those never-ending images of buy, decorate, cook, bake, do, that keep running up against my screen, screaming for attention and their own action. Pesky things!
It ends as resolve. And so, I resolve, tonight is conversation at the table, tucking little ones to bed, a fire, eggnog, maybe knitting. Sounds perfectly boring and oh, so, lovely, doesn't it? And in the future, to be intentional rather than reactive about the way our family celebrates. Because, despite this post's tone, we do love to celebrate! Sometimes little moments, sometimes with raucous laughter around the dining table. But this girl, this year, craves simple celebrations, leaving room for the waiting and anticipation that to me is Christmastide.