Sometimes one day turns into another, in an ordinary fashion. I strive to have as many of those as I can. I take great pains to live a mostly leisure life, where things like supper , are the occasion of the day. I love a “quiet and peaceable” life. . . None of that happened this week.
First of all, it was the week of the “Holiday Concert” at school. This is a busy and exciting week, for all of us. The classes learned winter songs from ten different countries. Then, there were the violinists, at least one hundred of them, played carols. The older students, also decorated the campus with lights and served hot chocolate, cotton candy and cookies. It was all lovely and everything turned out beautifully, but it was an incredibly busy week.
For eighteen years, my mom, sisters and I have gathered the first week of December for a shopping trip. We have been joined by my nieces, Hayley and Dana, since they grew up, too. This year, we changed things up. We did not want daddy alone, for that long of a day and Mama who takes great pride in her decorations, had not even really started, save the mantel. This year, we all met early, at their house for breakfast and plans to decorate. Dana and I decorated the tree. Connie and Hayley, worked on the porch and Delores created Christmas scenes throughout the house. By noon, I was frying the cornbread, that Delores loves. A large pot of brunswick stew was simmering and everyone took a turn, chopping the slaw, for that will wear you out. Connie brought her home made barbecue, for the main dish. Since Delores and Hayley had December birthdays, Mama made a chocolate cake from scratch for Delores and a lemon meringue pie, for Hayley. It was quite a feast. Brant came for the meal, which thrilled me. He carried stew and some of the left over sweet potato pancakes, from breakfast, with him when he left.
Dana sketched, and was good company as I cleaned the kitchen. Dana had cleaned up after breakfast and since she is quite an artist, and always has a sketch pad, I asked her to draw a rabbit. It was adorable and I remain impressed with her ability. What sweet memories she and I made this day, decorating the tree together, and spending time together, in a kitchen.
Connie, being known as a hard worker, rallied us to tackle the yard, next. Hayley, like me does not like to rake leaves, but agreed, it was better, in good company. When we left, the whole place was orderly and little lights twinkled. Ribbons and garland , and wreaths proclaimed Christmas in the clean yard, too.
On Wednesday, I received a message that the sale of the rabbit patch, was not going through. Even, as I write this, now days later, I am still shocked. The message was short and final, and I felt a great many emotions, all at once. I still do not know what happened – or why. Instead of concentrating on the missing information, I decided to to think about what is next and trusted that “next” would surely be better. Still, I had the dreaded task, of telling my children. I knew Brant and Tres would be terribly aggravated and that Jenny and Christian would be hurt. Kyle would take it best, but he would be disappointed for me. . . and truly, all of us would be terribly disappointed. I worried for the people, I was buying the cottage from, and what this would mean for them. But, I had to prepare myself quickly, for Christian was home, when I drove in the yard, that day . . . and somehow, there was a small Christmas tree shining through a window.
Mama and Delores, were quite concerned that I would not be decorating for the holidays, and like little Christmas fairies, had slipped in the farmhouse and placed a table top tree in the den. Christian was happy for me, as they all know that I love Christmas, especially. (My decorations are all packed up, as I was expecting to move during Christmas break.) I decided to delay my news, as I could not spoil the goodness of the moment.
That night, I thought a lot of things, in the light of the little tree. I remembered the details of this six month ordeal. I knew the blunders now, of my lack of “business” sense and declared not to repeat those same mistakes. I was annoyed that it had taken six months and then fell apart in a day. I felt a sense of loss and yet not hopelessness, as so often accompanies an unrealised dream. I was not sorry, that I had dreamed. I did not feel defeated, though I did feel weary. I simply could not feel angry, for I had prayed fervently, for the right thing to happen. I am not yet at liberty, to tell the whole story, but rest assured a lot of wonderful plans were dashed. So many thoughts were jumbling around, yet I managed to maintain a peace, though at times, it was shaky. “Things work out for a reason” and “The best is yet to come” and “God works in mysterious ways” -all crossed my mind, in intervals, through the chaos of my thoughts. Finally, I cried, not because, I did not believe any of that, but because, I was saddened. I realised too, I was “sick and tired” of the harrowing last six months. I was ready to put that behind me, after all. Sometimes, “No” is the answer, to a prayer.
The task at hand, was to show my children what to do with disappointment, for I can not spare them of that. Really, when I thought about it, I was disappointed because I had concocted a goal for myself, that apparently was not in my best interest, at this particular time. Other than, my lack of business, I had exercised grace and fortitude . Now, I had to show them recovery, which in this life should be a highly desired skill, for we all need that at times. I had to take that “blessed high road” again.
When at last, I did bear the news, things turned out as I expected. Jenny was sad and Christian was too. The boys were highly disturbed and Mama cried. It was awful and in some way, I felt guilty of creating this calamity.
I have no clue, how I will afford to make repairs to this old house nor how I will maintain the land and barns. These are very real concerns for me nearing the age of sixty. “Starting over” on your own, lacks the luster, it has in youth. Just finding a job, at this age is a predicament, in itself. Against the odds, I still believe that it will work out. I have not unpacked a single thing. Against all odds, I still entertain lofty notions though, I am waiting, again, this time for clarity, about how to proceed.
I have a beautiful life, right now today. First and foremost, a little King was born and became my own, and I declare now, that “He does work in mysterious ways!” I have the dearest family, a heart could ever hope for. I have loving and loyal friends – and on and on I could go . . and so, it is hard to be downcast, for long. Instead, I await for something more, than I could have hoped for and until then, I will live my beautiful life, and make repairs as I can.
I will love the winter twilight and the stark beauty of bare trees, I will watch the moon rise over the old barn and the sun set over a resting field, turning it a coppery , gold in the process. In the mornings, frost will shine silver and sparkle in the first light. I will bide my time, listening to the pines whisper and the blackbirds chatter -and watch for that silver lining, in good faith.