Candlelight holding up the sunset.
Almost time....... far from ready. It doesn't matter though does it, because it will come in a flurry even if little old me is ready or not. The day is just around the corner............. and I'm glad. Calm and glad.
The tree is up. No chunky garlands. I left them off. I filled it with a thousand lights....... with ornaments from family and friends who have picked them up in their travels for me.... with ornaments I picked up in my travels. It is a universal tree. Multi-cultural.
My daughter exclaimed that it's a "lady" tree. It wasn't planned that way. It just happened. Dancing ladies from Barcelona, Prague, Austria, New York ..... from Indonesia, India, Peru......... angel ladies dusted in gold holding harps and wands. Angels made of pressed tin resplendent in pearl beads. Angels created in a fine raffia made by women ten thousands villages away. Up top is a wobbly legged skater wearing a bright red felt overcoat....her legs splayed from falling into the Christmas tree branch. It was a joyful landing!
I had many plans to create things during my healing and time home waiting for the next part of this journey. But, it wasn't meant to be. Neither was writing. My muse and my craft hands have been still. Silent for the most part as I continued to clear my head doing other types of projects that seem to take much longer than normal.
That's the way it is these days.......... up and down. Clear and then foggy. Focused as much as I can muster on big complicated tasks that challenge me as much as the cancer. Legal stuff. Financial stuff. Trying to help two children reach the plateau of their personal dreams.......... wondering how the hell I'm going to afford it, but knowing I can figure it out. In between these tasks, time with them. Time with friends. A visit from my parents. Time alone to think. Time to listen to music, attend concerts, go to church..... all food for the soul.
I did accomplish one crafty thing...........
I gave a special friend a 3 foot shooting star I made to put up in her backyard so she can see one every night. It has strings of lights as its tail....... I want her to make a wish every day throughout the Christmas season...... right up to Epiphany and beyond until we can sit in my backyard or on a star filled night on the beach this summer and gaze up into the sky to catch one zipping through the air. Wishes upon wishes......... smiles upon smiles....... to defeat winter's frosty ice pellets that can dampen the spirit.
Last summer, she admitted that she had never seen a shooting or falling star before. Surprising since she grew up on the Island and spent many days on the beach. As an adult though, she has lived in a house with many trees in her backyard......... beautiful old trees that have held up forts for climbing kids. But, they have obscured the view of the night sky.
One late night last August after this admission, I was out walking the dog. A shower of shooting stars dazzled above me. I couldn't believe it! 6 or 7 crisscrossed darkness with spectacular clarity....... too many to hang first wishes onto. That would have been greedy anyways. As I stood there in complete awe, I phoned my friend who was already settling into bed for the night. As far as I'm concerned, experiencing your first shooting star far outweighs sleep!
"Anne........! You've got to get outside! There are shooting stars a plenty tonight! Call me back when you see one!"
Out she went......... jammies and all into her backyard, hoping to get a glimpse through broad branches that intertwine from tree to tree......... through the lush leaves that cover her yard in a natural umbrella. No such luck. Determined, she scampered past her own yard onto the walking trail, which still was too dense with trees.......... still beyond the trail to an opening near the park behind her house where the lights were still blaring on the courts and the streetlights glowing in the neighbourhood.
What a valiant, courageous attempt! What a hilarious risk to be out wandering around in flannel jammies with one's face pointed to the sky! All for naught, except a good laugh! She never saw the light show that night. Who knows who saw HER! Hahahaha!
She loved her star............... "No one has built anything for me in a long time" she replied! Hopefully it is up... situated in the middle of her backyard so she can see it from the warmth of her family room. Every night! Tied to those same branches that obscure her view. I left it up to her husband to figure out the mechanics of wiring it into the air! I just build them. I don't situate them! :)
I wonder how many people in this world never have a chance to see a shooting star or even a sky filled with twinkling lights off in the distance? Sometimes, I catch myself taking the beauty for granted. Usually when I'm too busy to look up. But because I am blessed to live in this part of the world, in a home nestled away from the artificial lights of the city, on a street with one streetlight, those stars normally shimmer enough to grab my attention. Make me stop. Make me look and listen. I don't know what I listen for. I guess it is the feeling behind the use of those two senses. Silent comfort? Joyful contentment? Little girl excitement......... wonderment that this world is much more grand than I can fathom?
So is Christmas. The ultimate Star of Wonder! It produces the same reaction....... looking, listening and feeling as it arrives even if we aren't as ready as we thought we'd be.
It doesn't matter really does it? What is ready? We do our best to prepare for the big celebration and make sure everything is just perfect.... Often we are so laden with tasks, life pressures and responsibilities that we forget to look up. Thank God we have the lights of Noel both in the sky and in our homes to grab our attention if only for the amount of time it takes a shooting star to graze across over our human paths. Blink.
Thank God we are children at heart who love a good surprise or too that arrive during the unplanned times of the season. Most of them involve others....... and end up as part of your own story. Gifts of friendship and compassion. Gifts that have no monetary value but matter. Gatherings. Toasts. Interactions. Smiles from strangers. Isn't it funny how we remember the things at Christmas that simply happen rather than are all planned out? Internal shooting stars wrapped in love.
Almost time........... ready as I want to be. Calm and glad. Thankful in a way I have never felt before. Even on miserable weather nights, the shooting stars are a plenty.......
one light bigger than the horizon,
held by an angel............
held by an angel............
PS. After two surgeries, I have been told they are confident the cancer cells are gone. I am very relieved. Exhausted now because I think I was holding my breath inside tightened stressy muscles for months. But, all is good. All is bright. Radiation will happen. It's part of the precautionary plan. I will know on Friday the details.