Friday, December 30, 2011


The house is quiet.  Which it hasn't been for awhile.  The sun is shining through the cold windows.  I am fully engaged in my yearly ritual of taking down Christmas.

It was a really good Christmas.  Full. We started early with present buying and hanging sparkling icicles outside the house.  We listened to tons of Christmas music.  We reminisced while we hung up our unique assortment of ornaments.  Jake wrapped most of our presents freeing up hours of my time.  We drank lots of hot chocolate with marshmallows and candy canes. My parents made the long trip safely. We had festive meals and rich family time, sprawled around the fire place. 

But now, after six weeks or so of parties and planning and presents,  we're back to normal. Ordinary.  Calm.   And this solitary act of dismantling seems symbolic to me today.

It is quiet while I wind up the lights, and pad all the ornaments in their boxes.  I clear the mantles of stockings, reindeer and the nativity scene.  I read through the Christmas cards once more.  It's time to start a new year.

I wonder what 2012 will bring.  It will have its own great holidays.  It will have vacations and trips.  Lasts and firsts days of school, weeks at camp. I t will also be filled with lots of every-day moments.  Times that will never make the 2012 Christmas cards.  Rides to school together every morning.  All of us cramming on the couch to watch Man vs. Wild.  Sabbath breakfasts.  Waiting for the news to confirm a snow day.  Summer morning runs at Bent Creek.  Raking leaves. Watching puppy and kitty chase each other through the house.  Friends coming over to play.

These words from Shauna Niequist's book Cold Tangerines remind me to appreciate every moment.

     Today is your big moment.  Moments, really.  The life you've been waiting for is happening all around you...This is life in all its glory, swirling and unfolding around us, disguised as pedantic, pedestrian non-events...
     Your life, right now, today, is exploding with energy and power and detail and dimension, better than the best movie you have ever seen...You have stories worth telling, memories worth remembering, dreams worth working toward, a body worth feeding, a soul worth tending, and beyond that, the God of the universe dwells within you, the true culmination of super and natural.  
     You are more than dust and bones. 
     You are spirit and power and image of God.    
     And you have been given Today.

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