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.