Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Gift of January

Can you hear the quiet?

It’s the gift of January at Wisteria Cottage.

These chilly mornings beckon me to linger by the fire with a warm pot of tea and I obey. I lace my day with fewer tasks and greater spates of peaceful space. While so many others pin up a new calendar which opens the floodgates of new diets, exercise routines, cleaning frenzies, home remodels, and self-improvement regimes, I must confess that Wisteria Cottage quiets down almost entirely with the Gift of January. A gift of time to read, savor, dream, sort, wonder, and reflect. New ideas and projects come to the forefront naturally, most notably seen in the seed catalogs and garden plans that begin to litter countertops and tea tables, but the dreamy scope of possibility makes the planning of these goals more fun somehow . . . less a mandate. It works for us.

While I sit cozily in my favorite chair listening to Chant and reading gentle poetry at day’s beginning, my children tumble down the stairs sleepy-eyed and heat-seeking, book under arm. The Gathering Room becomes a haven in January. Empty teacups, rumpled quilts, and scattered crumbs from a nibbled slice of just-baked bread add a measure to the tidying up session which will ensue this afternoon, but for now I cannot see much beyond the beautiful Christmas tree standing tall, twinkling in competition with the frost-bitten gardens. We keep the Christmas celebrations flowing until the Kings arrive on the 6th of January. We discuss the journey between the Birth and the Epiphany. We question ourselves, wondering what it must have been like to be a Shepherd or a King on that starry, starry night. We spread out the Christmas season in the old-fashioned 12th Night sense. It serves us well. This tradition grew up solely in our little nuclear family, though our extended families pour all partying into the 24th and 25th with a race to take down the tree, stow the decorations, and get on with the new year before the clock strikes Midnight on the 31st. We prefer to savor the festive feeling and coast into the coming year on yet another gift: The Gift of January.

We rang in the premier of 2010, as Handel’s Messiah filled the airwaves with expectant joy, piecing together a puzzle depicting a Christmas-bedecked Victorian neighborhood all a bustle with holiday merrymaking. We toasted the New Year with fizzy sips of organic root beer. We made our way to bed in the wee hours of the morn with the satisfaction of knowing we had just opened a new gift – peaceful January has arrived.

Sweet friends, I bid you peace in the new year . . . tardy though this greeting arrives by the world’s pace. If you should find yourself in our neighborhood do not hesitate to stop in. We can easily move aside the books and quilts to make room for another soul seeking to put their feet up, hoist a china vessel, and gently glide along life’s path. Unlike Spring, Summer, and Fall when you will likely have to search for us in the gardens, Winter finds us cocooned by the stove in sweet accord.

Welcome January.


Kat said...

Oh that sounds lovely. I crave peace and quiet. There is not much to be found around here. ;) Though we are having a nice snowstorm here today and that brings much fun and excitement. :)

Happy New Year to you and your family. :)

farmlady said...

I needed the "gift of January" but, already, the days fill with things that cannot be ignored.
I'm glad you have taken the time to create this lovely space for yourself.
Enjoy every moment....

Tricia said...

January is such a sweet gift that is so often overlooked. Thank you for this reminder. If our travels were taking us anywhere near you in the coming days, I would beg the right to join you in your celebration of this sweet gift. God bless you and yours.

Linda said...

We are so ready for spring! Our winter has been so harsh already this year! Your 'gift of January' sounds lovely.

Kelley said...

Happy New Year, sweet friend!
I too am enjoying the gift of January...
I am taking the time to enjoy making bread and washing dishes and making meals and then when it is time I sit down to my seed catalogs and dream of my perfect garden!

gail said...

Oh Debbie, that sounds just delightful. Have a wonderful, peaceful January.

Blessing Gail

One Woman's Journey said...

This sounds wonderful. If I were near I would join you.
Blessings and Peace sent to you from this cold day at Woodhaven.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post. I never though of January as a gift- you paint a beautiful word-picture here :)

jojo said...

I think I'll settle down with a nice cuppa tea, a good book, my favorite quilt and the dog...thanks for the reminder to savor our sweet January days...jj

Werna Gail said...

As always your words flow into my spirit bringing a calm with them that is so refreshing. And yes the colder days are a wonderful time to "slow down" sit by the fire and count our blessings. I really like your tradition of not rushing past the most blessed time of the year, the birth of our Savior, Jesus.
I pray a wonderful New Year to you and yours.

Ruth MacC said...

Happy New year Debbie,
if you like, I would like to send you over some tea as a wee gift. I haven't a friend in the world, this is one of the reasons I started blogging. Now, don't feel all sorry for me! I am quite accepting of it, finally (I used to be upset about it but I have God, a wonderful husband and son etc). This is what God planned for me and you know, I have everything I need in Him. I am determined to reach out even more to the women in my Church and be a good example to all and to try to grow in maturity and obedience!

Anyway, I want you to know that I really enjoy your blog. It's always very relaxing visiting it, even when you have your own tough times. It is one of the things I am looking forwards to this year and am grateful about last year.

So, if you would send me your address (or the address of your local post office) I can send you a small parcel of tea to enjoy, from Ireland:o)
May God continue to bless you and your family.

sukipoet said...

a lovely post and nice to think of you savoring the holiday at your pace, and contemplating by the fire in the month of January. I hope you were not part of CA that received the earthquake! I thought of you immediately though i dont really know where you are, I think Northern CA? As my blog friend who lives nearish to SF has not had snow or anything much of winter cold.

Be well and enjoy this time to ponder and read.

Karen Deborah said...

So beautiful and I miss you very much.

Cherie said...

Happy January, happiest new year!

Lovely blog, lovely music, thank you for sharing!

Keep dancing!