Saturday, December 31, 2011

Fireside Nostalgia

When you have a leisurely day close to the end of the year, thoughts can turn to other Christmases, other years, uplifting things and touch on the realities, too.  December has always been a month of reflection for me.  Quiet moments here and there to reassess, remember and regroup.  It is unlike any other month of the year.

I woke up early this morning, my eyes open in the predawn darkness.  I lay there listening to my husband's smooth breathing, relishing the sound as it washed over me in harmony with the dog's dreamy sighs.  The past few weeks have been filled with anxiety and concern.  While he is now doing fine, I am well aware that anything can happen in any of our lives at any time.  I am thankful that now wasn't his time.

I finally wiggled my feet into my slippers and quietly stole downstairs, turning up the heat and flipping on the Christmas tree lights.  Deep into a good book, I made a cup of tea and read until it became light outside.  There is fog on the lake - warmer out than is customary for the last day of the year.  Kids are usually ice-skating by Christmas.  Not this year.  The skim coat of ice thickens and dissolves with the unseasonably fluctuating temperatures.

I toasted the last of the panettone, liberally spreading butter on its fragrant surface. Taking it and another cup of hot tea, I tucked my book under my arm and headed down to the family room to lay a fire and light some candles.  I planned to enjoy a day of decadence, stirring only to load the washer and dryer and run a dustcloth on a few surfaces if the mood struck.  It did, but didn't ruin the ambiance the slightest bit.

When Bob woke up and came down with his coffee later, the fire was crackling and blues was softly playing in the background.  We reminisced about holidays past, family and friends and how much our connection to them means to us.  We have talked with many of them over the past week, catching up on lives which are traveling in all different directions. 

I have plans for next year.  I plan to be gentler on myself, going with the flow and approaching new challenges with gusto.  The challenges I speak of have wings.  I want to paint en plein air, soaking in the smells and sounds of the scenery that will be sketched on my canvases.  I will enjoy the company of family and friends regularly, if not in person then by phone.  I will continue to simplify as it has brought me great pleasure this year and I certainly have a considerable ways to go with it.  I will keep my sketchbook by my side and strive to draw every day, experimenting with color when the mood strikes.  I will dig in the dirt, spread mulch and plant flowers to my heart's content. I will continue to write as it is my compulsion and pleasure.  I will savor life and all it brings to my table.

I hope all whom I love and all whom I have yet to meet have a gentle year filled with hope, love and inspiration.

Happy New Year's Eve!

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