|Sunset, Kingman Arizona--December 2010|
Today in church, Kristie mentioned that for her it had been the "most hurried" Christmas she could remember in a long time. "Rushing in, rushing out," was what another friend said in agreement. And I thought it was only me that felt that this year was compressed--not enough time to even put up a tree, let alone find the time to schlepp down to Target and purchase it.
I rather prefer those Christmas seasons where the anticipation is long and languid and I can wallow in carols, making caramels and writing cards (another thing that was jettisoned this year). This was not one of those years, and apparently not just for me.
To completely up-end my sense of order, today's lesson was on gratitude--a Thanksgiving topic. It was the other bookend to the lesson I had given on Thanksgiving weekend about (yes) gratitude. I guess it's a good theme to tackle post-Christmas, but I think I would have preferred one more in keeping with the season of Christmas, since the whirring rush of days has left me disoriented and a bit out of sorts.
What's the antidote for this feeling? In Britain, they have Boxing Day--a day to box up and deliver goods to the poor and the needy--perhaps a way to extend that peace on earth, goodwill to all sort of experience. My Boxing Day was spent clearing the counter of extraneous detritus, and packing up my past semester's courses and moving them downstairs to the bench, preparatory to finding a place for them in my (new-to-me) file drawers outside. Boxing up, moving out, cleaning and clearing up. My daughter already has her decorations down, eager to clear up the clutter and put away the mess.
What I need, really, is another night where I can glimpse a pink rainbow, enjoy the crisp air and have time to chat with a loved one, a young boy who, at four years old, was more than eager to hop down off the hood of my car and jump right back into the ring to go at it again.