A bit of calm


After the long, stressful election week, a bit of calm settled over things. I popped a bottle of champagne Saturday night, and just reveled in the deep breaths I could finally take. As the week closed down, It snowed and was quiet and peaceful. Everyone I talked to said they had been taken aback to realize how much tension they’d held in their bodies for so long. But, it felt like we’d come together, to the top of the hill, for some rest and comfort.

I was tearful when the promising news came out about the vaccine, and I began to imagine the possibility of being with my family again come summer. There is a long dark winter between now and then–but, we always have long dark winters. With Covid raging out of control, we are more hunkered down, more isolated than other years, but this house does winter well. I’m lighting the candles now at dusk and there’s a fire going in the living room by late afternoon. A small flock of winter robins are hanging around in the aspens outside the window, and when they land on a thin bare branch, they look like they are jumping up and down on a trampoline. I could swear they are here just to keep my spirits up. Don is starting his search for the perfect turkey for our Thanksgiving dinner for two. I’m starting to think about holiday decorations for the mantle with garland and fairy lights. Maybe we’ll get the Christmas tree early and decorate it in simple white lights. It will be so quiet in this house, and perhaps just lighting the darkness will feel just right for Christmas 2020. We’ve come so far in this year! We press on–and there is so much to crush the spirit–but, there’s a whiff of hope in the air, in our best moments.

Up-Hill, by Christina Rossetti

Does the road wind up-hill all the way? 
   Yes, to the very end. 
Will the day’s journey take the whole long day? 
   From morn to night, my friend. 

But is there for the night a resting-place? 
   A roof for when the slow dark hours begin. 
May not the darkness hide it from my face? 
   You cannot miss that inn. 

Shall I meet other wayfarers at night? 
   Those who have gone before. 
Then must I knock, or call when just in sight? 
   They will not keep you standing at that door. 

Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak? 
   Of labour you shall find the sum. 
Will there be beds for me and all who seek? 
   Yea, beds for all who come.

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