All is calm
All is bright.
I'm sitting in my livingroom in front of the fireplace. I can't imagine living in a home without a fireplace. Not one of those fancy natural gas ones.........it has to be a real fireplace full of hot embers and mesmerizing flames which dance differently every time you put another log on. The crackles and smokey scents are as inviting as my Dad's cologne. Every now and then a small wind gust blows down the chimney to feed the flames......a whoosh fanning sound tells me so. When I was a teenager living at home, every now and then in the middle of winter, I would cozy up to the fireplace at night with a pillow and a blanket and fall asleep in glowing comfort.
Beside the fireplace stands a tall majestic tree that touches the ceiling. I don't know how I managed it, but I think I found THE perfect tree this year. Sorry folks, I got it. For some reason the colour of the ornaments are predominatly red and white........a Canadian tree it is, it is. Even the parcels under the tree managed to be wrapped in red and green and white. It wasn't a planned thing..........kind of spooky like I channeled Martha Stewart and didn't know it. What's really bizarre is that the parcels sent by bus from my sisters and parents are wrapped in matching paper!! It's a gene thing I think.
There really is no theme to it except that it represents 20 years of my husband and I creating our own family. Several of the ornaments were given to us at a party our friends had just before our wedding day which happened to fall between Christmas and New Year's. The tree skirt was made by hand by a friend named Grace whom I havent seen in a long time. At the top of the tree are two shiny old fashioned ornaments with my name painted on one and Jamie's name painted on the other. (Bonnie are you reading this? You gave them to me. :) Through the years, we have accumulated other homemade treasures......embroidered ones from my Grandmother, handpainted scallop shells Martha and I made when she was little, others made by little hands when they were at daycare......angels and snowmen.........candy canes and snowflakes, garlands of wooden beads, shiny stained glass, reflecting light, capturing light, and a few bells to ring when an angel gets her wings.
All are meaningful to us. All packaged in a remember when........
My favourite ornament is the oldest. I purchased it in the turkish bazaar in Istanbul before I was married. They are tiny knitted mittens on a string that cost me all of 50 cents. But they hold such wonderful memories. funny eh? It's never anything really expensive and flashy that touches us. It's the little ordinary looking trinket that holds the key to our heart treasure box.
The lights are on. tiny multi-coloured lights. They too are mesmerizing, but won't really glimmer like they can until Christmas Eve. That's when a tree looks the most magical......when it really feels like Christmas.
For some reason it seemed to take me a lot longer to get my act together with the decorating etc. Part of the reason is that I have purposefully continued to focus on my writing, which most definately etches into my time. But, other variables seem to be wreaking havoc with my usually good organizational abilities. Time seems to have a mind of it's own these days. Jamie and I were talking about it this morning as I drove him to work..........both of us are dumbfounded really that we find ourselves on the precipice of our 20th wedding anniversary in two weeks. How in the heck did this happen? Sure there are periods when you wish the clock would move faster because it feels like it has stopped completely (Christmas Eve day is an example of this according to my son). But, most days it's over before we even acknowledge that it has begun.
All is calm
All is bright.
We live in such a fast paced world. We multi-task, juggle, think ahead of ourselves. We plan and plod and prepare and push ahead. We rush, rage, run, and sometimes wipe out because we're going too fast. And before you know it...................all you see is a blur of colour all smearing across a painted sky............the lights begin to blend in like one of those timed photos. We need to jump off the bus regularly to catch ourselves from free falling. We need to gaze backwards on the day that has happened...........to recognize the blessings and encounters (the rest really doesn't matter does it?).........to reflect on a day which will never be captured again.
We need to learn to sit quietly and enjoy our own inner voice nestled in the spirit.
I look into the fire and watch the flames dance for me. I listen to the whooshing fan noise, the tiny crackles and feel the warmth of it's energy on my face. I look at my beautiful tree which sings nostalgia and hums a familiar song of belonging. I hear my dog snoring lightly right behind me..... I hear my husband quietly reading a story to our son down the hall. I think of my daughter wearing a new dress which makes her spin around whenever she tried it on to show us. She's at her first Christmas formal at the high school, and I hope it's living up to her excited expectations.
I also reflect on my time spent with my friend who joined me for lunch today......a wonderful treat where we didn't look at the clock. We just leisurely sipped on a glass of wine and let the conversation flow, comfortably sitting in this living room with the fire blazing. It's been entertaining me on and off all day. And because we didn't feel the pressure of all the preparations and forthcoming busy family time and all that, we found ourselves talking about God and wondered out loud if He was one of us.
Trying to make his way home.....................
It's been a good day.
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace.