Many people place great stock in a new year – and most especially this particular year. I have never been any good at making resolutions,just for the sake of it, for I must truly be convicted, to change a habit, or practice a new one…and I am likely to do so in months like May! Now, during the quiet time of Christmas, I did do a lot of thinking and self reflection.
There is just no shortage of things to ponder. For a long while, I was about overwhelmed with “the current state of the union”. I am still a bit shocked and so very disappointed too. It seems everyone wants to take some sort of spectacular stance on every subject known to man. The elders used to say, “you all would argue in a pie factory!”, when my cousins and I quarreled. (instead of eating pie). I think that sentiment rings true today. To me, the world got too loud. . .and I could not bear the noise so, I finally decided to just “Be still” -as it is written.
Now being still, is not for the faint of heart. It sounds like it is such a passive event-but for me, I must muster determination to quiet myself. It is my mission to dwell on what is holy. . . .and to live peaceably and without causing harm to this world.
When the time of thinking was over, I left for the gathering, in Elizabeth City. Brant and Sydney came with little Ryan, that evening. What a happy reunion, it was. Lyla and Brynn were so glad to see their “baby brother cousin”. Watching the three of them clapping their little hands, in unbridled joy, at the sight of one another, tickled my heart. We all stayed up past our usual bedtimes., in light of all that celebrating.
The next morning, as usual, Lyla and I were up before everyone else. We are always the “early birds”. Every time, someone awoke, they were greeted cheerfully, as if the night had kept us apart too long. After breakfast, Lyla and Sydney began work on a gingerbread house. We had quite a lengthy list on our agenda. There were two kinds of candy to make and cheese straws, several special meals and a few walks in the “new neighborhood”. Since it was raining and no end in sight, the strolls had to be abandoned. Because of this, it seemed someone was always in the kitchen.
We had several days together- but, being greedy, I never get my fill. How could I tire of those lovely folks! Brynn trying to tend to Ryan. Ryan following Lyla like a shadow -even the occasional squabbles, were cherished. Brynn at two, was reluctant to hand over all that was hers’ freely to Ryan. She would put up a fight for a little while, then smile sweetly and share , for she had established her independence to her satisfaction. Ryan has learned to say “no” and uses it appropriately. Even so, he remains mild and pleasant and very loving. Lyla shut the door to the playroom on the day, that her dolls were all sick. That sent wails of protests from the little ones.
I watched the children play with great amusement . It is another way to know them and what a delightful way to do so.
It rained day and night, the whole time of our holiday. This did not hinder our happiness, though I had looked forward to some leisure strolls. Several times, Ryan and I watched it rain through the window, together. He stared intently at the large silver drops falling- in wonder . . .so did I. May neither of us ever outgrow watching rain.
Somehow, the days were quickly accomplished. Brant and Sydney left on Saturday. I left on Sunday. Though, I am satisfied with life, it does seem to lack luster, after a gathering. Regular readers know, I am likely to whine and pine every time, in the days after a reunion.
I spent the next week restoring order in the old farmhouse. I went to work and cooked supper. Headlines went from bad to worse. The discord of man is as rampant as covid and apparently just as contagious. There are more ways than one to ail.
Meanwhile, the night sky is lit up with stars the size of silver dollars. The Handiwork of God is a stark and mighty contrast to the handiwork of man. In the early morning, there is that magical time, when the day awaits light. It is another favorite time of mine. . .it is my beloved “morning service”.
How beautiful, truth is and no one is better at truth, than trees. Their bare arms, covered only on frost, bravely proclaim, broken, jagged branches and the scars of former storms. The earth rests in winter and does not harbor hidden agendas and falsehoods, nor does it plot . The earth rises to the needs of all that call it “home” without showing privilege or discrimination. Therefore, I will renew my pledge to seek peace and cause no harm. This is the way I will do battle.