Saturday, December 25, 2010

peaceful me

It's been a month since my last post, and though much of my absence was due to that lingering blue, some I can honestly blame on the holiday hubbub, parties, presents, and a return of my passions. Historically, I've abhorred Christmastime, feeling Grinchy seems to come naturally to me. But this year the season's been a contrast. Rather than the blues, I've immersed myself in reds and oranges, flaming hot pinks and deep purples. Now I'm feeling really good, happy even, and very relaxed.

Today, Christmas day, our house is so quiet. Two of three boys are still sound asleep. Mark and I have already been out to the pasture to put the horses in their rain jackets (just in time, too, as it's now a deluge out there) and feed the critters. We woke up extra early to beat the storm which was predicted to begin at 7 am and then had a couple quiet hours until Toby arose. Our plans today are simple: hang out for the morning and head down to my sister's for Christmas dinner (she and her family celebrate the holiday) midafternoon.

As for right this minute: coffee, my knitting, a warm house and quiet. Peaceful me.

I think because Chanukah came so early this year I've had more time to relax, contrast my state of being with that of the rest of the US. Chanukah started on December 1st (it's the lunar calendar, leap month thing) and with Ben's birthday in late November and Harry's in early December we were inundated with festivities, but we handled that fine. By mid-December we were essentially done with all that, we'd collected and distributed the loot, and were happily using it all (our family went from a no-video-game-family to an XBox and Wii family in the space of 7 days! ah well, I couldn't hold out forever, I suppose).  And I set my mind to the healing arts: my crafts!

I spent a weekend or two organizing my craft space. What a luxury! To have the spaces in our office for me to set up jewelry, sewing, cutting, ironing and our computers without putting any of it away! We are so buried in our clutter usually, that I hadn't really utilized the space efficiently for the whole five years we've lived here. I felt the clouds lift when I opened up these areas to do my work.

After finishing some holiday items (a scarf for Mike Walsh, the General Manager of the Ritz Carlton in Philadelphia, and some hand warmers and earrings for our 4H holiday craft sale/fundraiser), I turned to a few projects I've been waiting and waiting to get started on. First is a blanket out of thrifted and felted wool sweaters. Black and grey backgrounds with red, orange and pink squares on top. It is reminiscent of my favorite of Denyse Schmidt's quilts and should be very warm when finished. I'm about 1/3 of the way there!

Second is a pair of mittens for Harry who is about to head off to his third weeklong meditation retreat over New Year's. His hands have trouble keeping warm, so I've been working like a dog to finish these before he leaves on Monday. I think I'll be able to do it!

My grief process continues to be a learning experience. I'm surprised at the strength of my longing to contact my dad, to talk to him again, to share some of the news (Harry's straight A's in his first semester at the JC, Ben's report from the neurosurgeon: no more MRI's for 5 years!) and just to say hi. I can't believe he's really completely and totally gone. The finality of it is baffling, breath-taking, sometimes overwhelming. I'm overcome with great sadness now and then, but it's for shorter periods. It really is a process and as life has calmed down in other ways (those issues that plagued me at the start of the fall have all ALL resolved themselves...thank god!...) I've had more space to just be. That's been so peaceful.

Peaceful me. That's where I am. Thankfully.