Quiet reigns. Peace floods each corner of the cottage. Covers stir. The teakettle sings “Good Morning!” as it does each morn, but somehow it feels different today.
The rains have broken and the sky shines with the brilliance of a sun sorely missed of late. Droplets dance on the barren tree limbs like a dusting of diamonds, while a sprinkling of red berries call birdies to feast with abandon before the next chill wind blows. Like a child, I secretly wish for a “White Christmas” despite weather predictions of soggy at best. The warm inviting sunshine snickers at the thought of snowflakes, but I remain open to all possibilities.
Possibilities . . . such a delightful word, so ripe like a sackful of Santa’s toys or a stable brimming with hopeful celebrants.
Our Christmas celebrations this year remain a mystery of possibilities because I have made good on a promise to open wide to the freedom of serendipity. My New Year’s resolution for 2011 can be summed up in one word: Serendipity. And as has become tradition, I “try on” the coming year’s resolve like a party frock before the big event just to make sure it fits and all. Thus far it fits like a dream! : D
In years past I meticulously planned special moments of joy and fun. This year a tumble of unexpected (and not wholly pleasant) events made planning far too challenging, so I tossed the planning guide aside and decided to try something new: Just go with the flow. Picture a woman slipping off a familiar perch of rock down into a serendipitous raft passing at just the precise moment to catch her up and carry her downstream over rills and curls, eddies and swirls. A bit scary? You bet! Fun? When I catch my breath from too much laughter I’ll let you know. I’ve never laughed so hard, slept so peacefully, eaten with such relish, and danced with such joy. Each morning I arise, put on the kettle, grab a treat (just one won’t hurt a bit), and soak up the quiet time of praise with my Lord, as I await the day’s unfolding with a child-like sparkle in my eye. What will today hold? I have no idea . . . and I giggle. I unwrap each moment like a child beneath a gift-laden tree. Unable to “predict” anymore, I just tear away and take a peek. Truly the adage “Today is a gift, that’s why it is called the present” sums it all up beautifully.
Impromptu dinner parties happen with the laying of an extra placesetting and the lighting of candles. Voila! Instant party! The chili stretches to fill all the bowls like a widow’s blessed oil.
A “Cookie Bake Day” invite to one of Rachel’s friends became a rollicking adventure in cookies, frostings, red hots, sprinkles, and more as her mom decided to stay rather than complete her To Do list for the day. Mixers whirred, tasting tongues lapped up buttercream, and jolly holiday music danced above the sugar-plum elves. We laughed away the weariness we shouldered at the start of the day. As we removed aprons, swept up sprinkles, and collapsed into comfy chairs for a restorative cuppa tea (and a cookie, of course) we KNEW we’d spent the day well despite the fact that our lists lay idle and unmarked. Tomorrow will be soon enough for dusting.
As The Day of Christmas approaches we already have numerous celebrations under our belt. We’ve celebrated St. Nicholas Day and Hanukkah, Santa Lucia Day (Rachel’s birthday) and even watched for a lunar eclipse on the Winter’s Solstice (cloud cover prevented the tiniest of peeks). Premiering films The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and Tron caused our family to uncharacteristically journey to the theaters and don funny glasses. Puzzles and games stack up alongside books and dvds as we play each and every day. Even practice times for upcoming Christmas performances become a celebratory event as I mute the ongoing cd carols and pause to enjoy the heavenly sound of a harp singing joyfully about that Holy Night wherein Away In a Manger lay our greatest gift of all: HOPE.
We have but a few days left till the world explodes in a unified shout of “holiday” cheer, but as usual we dance to the beat of a different drummer (he gets quite a workout around here) and have been celebrating non-stop these past few weeks. I read that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. I think we have just crossed the threshold of day 21 and now habitually celebrate daily. I think I am well on my way to enjoying 2011: The Year of Serendipity. I’m so glad I’ve given this bold resolution a trial run during this advent season. Who knew one could find so much fun and pure joy in each day?