There’s an old song by Joni Mitchell that I’ve always liked, but could never really relate to, “It’s coming on Christmas, they’re cutting down the trees, putting up reindeer and singing songs of joy and peace…I wish I had a river, I could skate away on…I would teach my feet to fly…
I’ve never understood it because I am an absolute lover of all things December, I would most certainly NOT be looking to escape it. My Birthday month is December, and when you share your Birthday month with the son of God, ya gotta take what you can get! So, I begin the month of celebration on the day after Thanksgiving. We venture out early on “Black Friday” and purchase our Christmas tree and I don’t stop until after New Years, when I am a traveling hostess, taking our southern tradition of black eyed peas and ham with collards and cornbread in crockpots and pans, to my children. I LOVE THE HOLIDAYS! I am always a little slow at taking down all the decor, because that means it is all over for this year. My daughter will return to where she lives in Brooklyn, my Grand Buddies school break is over, and Mr. Wonderful and I go back to reality. THIS January is a little different…
I have hesitated in the putting away of all things Christmas, over the last few days. Yesterday was my goal, it didn’t happen, again. This year, I can relate to the Joni Mitchell song, but in reverse. I’m wishing for a river here at the end of the season. Our holidays were, shall we say, eventful, in every depressing way one could imagine. So many things happened over the last month, and still I kept right on going, because that’s what we ever-ready crazy people do, to avoid what we don’t want to face.
I’m afraid that if I start this closure of Christmas, all the other closures I’ve left dangling over the last few weeks, will begin a domino effect of reality. When I pack up these boxes this year, it means my son in laws mother, my friend, sassy Patricia, is really gone, my eccentric neighbor has moved on to the afterlife, and we will be waiting to meet our grandchild, in heaven, and not this June. Yeah, Joni, I’m with you girl, “I wish I had a river, I could skate away on…“
As I begin this new year, I hope above all to be more MINDFUL, to be CONSCIOUS of every fleeting wonder of life. I will make moments that count by being AWARE of the miracle of them, not by documenting every waking moment on the internet, but by being PRESENT in them, with the persons I am REALLY with. I feel pretty certain that’s what my friend sassy Patsy would say to me.
And, if I feel like waiting one more day to clean the house and put away Christmas, I’m gonna do it, because I can, and you can too! I feel pretty certain that’s what my eccentric neighbor Steve would say, if he were here, he left up his giant Mickey and Minnie Mouse dressed as Saint Nick in the front yard, all year long!
So, maybe I’ll let these things go for another day…write some stories, photograph the birds, call a friend… HEY JONI, we’ve got a river to skate!