Today has been a little melancholy around the edges. I think that is why, as I scrolled through iPhoto, this image tugged on my sleeve. A glimpse through a doorway, at the end of a vacation a few summers ago, a last few shots of the spare rented mountain house before I slid into the passenger seat and back into the flow of regular life.
We are almost at that kind of threshold again. One precious weekend is standing between us and work and school and early wakeups and necessary bedtimes. We remind one another that we are spoiled by the riches of time we have, all of us here together at home. We remember that everyday life is quite good, really. We laugh– it’s not digging ditches.
But it is not this either, this grace we have of lazy, two-mug mornings and long golden afternoons. We read long into the night, and the schedules of meals and laundry and homekeeping soften like butter left next to the stove.
I couldn’t live in this time out of time forever, I know. Already, I am craving, if not the framework of everyday, the shape it gives to our lives. Its scaffolding makes spaces for good things to happen. By late next week, I’ll find my groove and be glad in it.
The melancholy comes, as always, because these lovely winter breaks are numbered. Just as this two weeks that stretched endlessly before us on the twentieth of December has dwindled to a couple of days, the years of small boys at home, of “all safely gathered in,” will not continue forever.
Just for this afternoon, that ache dims my bright new year’s plans a bit, dampens my enthusiasm for the independence of these tall young men we’re growing.
I’m always a little embarrassed by how keenly I feel this loss that we are traveling into, a bit more each year. Well-meaning friends have tried to jolly me out of it, or ask if I’m not aware that I’m supposed to be working myself out of a job.
I know. Trust me.
But as I turn to face January, as I wash my face without fail every night, and take up my yoga practice and eat more vegetables and send a few more bags to Goodwill, as I keep teaching these boys and releasing them every day, I am giving myself one last, slightly belated holiday gift.
I’m going to unwrap this tender heart and give it time to feel the push and pull of both longing to turn the calendar back and peering around the door eagerly for what is next.
And then, when it is time, I’ll fold the quilt and slip into the current of now.
Gratefully writing along with other lovely folks