The sun feels good on my feet. I’m sitting on the back porch, witnessing the shade shrink as the sun makes its progress across the sky. This morning it was tufted with puffy clouds, but now the sky is cerulean blue and streaked with washes of white clouds, as though watery paint is being moved over its surface, blown by an artist’s breath as it squeezes through a straw.
The kids swept the porch earlier, but another once over is needed, maybe even a good mopping, but I have other chores that await, too, inside.
My one day off a week.
It’s the kind of day that wants to keep me outside, with a good book (which I happen to be reading), in the shade. My feet poke out and rejoice in the sun. It isn’t too hot; a cool breeze is keeping things comfortable. Sometimes I can even smell the ocean in the air.
I am visited upon by a dragonfly the colour of fire. It flashes in the sunlight, alights on the tip of a banana leaf for long enough that I am able to scramble inside to grab my phone. Patiently it waits, posing for the camera, and as soon as the shutter snaps, it is airborne again, off to set fire to someone else’s day, to bring them a much needed message, if they pay close enough attention.
Hello sun. Daylight grows from here on out, my SAD-ridden spirit happily acknowledges.
The days will grow now, and though I would have liked to have a lovely quiet snowfall over Christmas, it seems unlikely given the mild (and hence rainy) temperatures we are currently having.
Maybe it’s because the end of a calendar year is nigh, but this time of year has a virtual flag on it for me to spend a bit of time reflecting on what has passed and on what is to come. The little incremental changes that happen daily don’t seem like much until they are reviewed in retrospect. We do a lot and we only realize it when we look back at it from a distance.
As my friend Jill so eloquently shares in her most recent newsletter, this time of year can bring with it all sorts of stress right along with the revelry – if you let it – and how we celebrate is ours to determine.
Since our wee family broke up in 2009, our holiday traditions have changed too. Since then I’ve spent a few years celebrating with friends rather than what little remains of my family (my son often travels to be with his dad over the holidays) or at times on my own (by choice).
I’m not sure what these celebrations signify for me anymore. I don’t have the urge to conspicuously consume, and I just don’t have the means to generously give gifts anymore. In many ways this ongoing situation has forced me to redefine how I might show appreciation and still remain in the giving spirit of the season.
A good part of this year was spent wracked with worry, with striving. I have been in full survival mode, and it squeezes out any room I might have had for creativity. Scrambling is exhausting work, so sleep was always a necessary refuge (what it lacked in quality was made up for in quantity).
I wish I had the discipline to work through it all, to create despite not having the urge (or the energy, really) to. Perhaps it would have reenergized me in the end. Or maybe it would have been akin to planting seeds in fallow ground – too late to investigate that now.
This year ends tinged with hope. There is a roof over our heads. We will have enough to feed ourselves and to pay for the necessities of life (in great part because of the help we are receiving from others).
I am grateful for –
A caring community
Memories to draw solace from
My creative muse
Possibility & potential
Everyday manifestation of the numinous
Opportunity to celebrate, always & everything
The rest of today will be spent cleaning up, doing laundry, experimenting with candied citrus and risen dough, making some lavender and thyme shortbread cookies. I have found that when life gets immensely complicated, the only thing left to do is to revel in simplicity.
Wishing you all love and the brightest of blessings.