Here it is again – that post-Thanksgiving day when I seem to take a deep, calming breath before the madness of the Christmas season revs up and comes crashing in….Today it’s still November. A last day. Tomorrow is December. A first day. I have a thing for first and last days of the month, arbitrary markings though they are. Not sure what that means, but maybe sometime I’ll understand why it seems significant.
As a person who is at least aware of the liturgical Church calendar, even if I’m not always in tune with it, it’s hard to get excited about Christmas yet. I have a hard enough time getting excited about Christmas even by December 24. Besides, there are four weeks of Advent that come first, starting tomorrow. A first on a first. I never seem to know whether I’m going to actively engage in the Advent season or not. It’s a largely emotionally-driven thing, for me at last, and at this stage in my life, my emotions seem to have a lot in common with plate tectonics. Sometimes I feel like wind in the grass, or leaves in the breeze. These days, though, it’s like EVERYTHING is moving way, way down deep, big rifts and shifts, causing things on the surface to wrinkle and buckle, overlap, collapse, crash, press in like a face-plant on glass. Middle of life. Crossroads. Changing traditions. Uncharted territory ahead.
It’s ok. It’s life. I’ll take it and be thankful!
I am thankful. Surprised to find how grateful I am today for RIGHT NOW. I have more to do than I can possibly get done, but a lot of it is stuff I want to do, not just that I have to do. I’m grateful for my husband, David, who is off checking on elderly parents, building a bookcase, and tending nature in the yard, and our son, Patrick, who is home from his first semester in college and enjoying time with friends he hasn’t seen for a while, and skateboarding in old and new venues. I’m grateful for our home. For ticking clocks, popping furnace, sleeping dogs (even the one who smells like a dog), cats on windowsills, blooming mums and Christmas cactus, the piano, the smell of baking apples, the leaves blowing on trees and off of them outside the windows. I’m enormously grateful to have had time over the past few weeks to spend with my best friend in the world, Jana, and Paul, the wonderful wind beneath her wings; they’ve been here since October 30, visiting from England, but leave to go back Monday. Grateful for time with Nancy and Krin, Jana’s mom and sister, for being an adopted member of their family. I’m grateful for my nephew, Michael, who just inquired as to whether tomorrow night would be a good time to have our annual Borscht Night, and it is! I’m grateful for nieces and their husbands, for their kids and dogs, and for their great friends whom they share with us, and who are gracious to include David and me as friends. It is no small thing to have people in your life with whom you can be yourself and be accepted as you are, and LIKED as you are.
I’m grateful for this computer, and for Facebook and its ability to extend friendships across vast distances and time with Facebook friends.
I’m grateful for my brothers and sisters-in-laws and brother-in-laws. I’m grateful for the incredible people of Quapaw Quarter and for the things I learn from them, and for the privilege of being on staff there and for the people I work with, both paid and volunteer. I’m grateful for the bonds of love and friendship that seem to withstand time and even span the gap between life and death.
I am grateful.
I am thankful.
And that seems like a pretty good place to be on this last day of the liturgical year. New Year’s Eve, as it were.
Bring it on.