The Christmas undecorating is complete. I was undecided about what to do with our perfectly shaped Grand Fir Christmas tree, which Don had cut down just after Thanksgiving. It had waited patiently on the porch until it was time to come inside the living room. When we left for Santa Fe in early December, we covered the nearby heater vents and turned the thermostat down low so it wouldn’t dry out. It has stood in front of our French doors for over a month and has cheered our dark mornings and nights, and neither one of us was ready to let it go. So, now, it sits on the outside of those glass doors, still lit in tiny colored lights, and a timer turns it on and off, morning and night, as it joins the white-lit tree outside the kitchen nook, the one on the entry porch, and the white-lit boughs in the window boxes. With all the world outside covered in deep white snow, and the supermoon still high in the sky, it’s quite bright and lovely out there. I’m staying in season.
Besides binge-watching historical dramas, making new soup recipes, and going to bed early at night, I’ve been organizing photos into albums, and have started doing the contemplative photography lessons in the book Adventures in Seeing. I’m back to my regular yoga and strength training classes. But, my intention is to stay in the season of this quiet and still month, the one pause in a calendar of months which seem to go by faster and faster with each passing year. I’ve been re-reading David Whyte’s book, Consolations, which is surely a book to be read in the quiet. A book to be read in the stillness of January. I love how he talks about “Rest”:
“To rest is to give up on worrying and fretting and the sense that there is something wrong with the world unless we are there to put it right…we are rested when we let things alone and let ourselves alone, to do what we do best, breathe as the body intended us to breathe, to walk as we were meant to walk, to live with the rhythm of a house and a home, giving and taking through cooking and cleaning. When we give and take in an easy foundational way we are closest to the authentic self, and closest to that self when we are most rested. To rest is not self indulgent, to rest is to prepare to give the best of ourselves, and to perhaps, most importantly, arrive at a place where we are able to understand what we have already been given…Rested, we are ready for the world but not held hostage by it, rested we care again for the right things and the right people in the right way. In rest we reestablish the goals that make us more generous, more courageous, more of an invitation, someone we want to remember, and someone others would want to remember too.”