Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Unexpected Joy

(Reposted from 2009)...

Even though we all like to think of the holidays as fun, exciting, carol-filled, snowy-glittered days of hot chocolate and glowing fires and children's laughter-there is also that down time- that place between celebration and meditation where we are truly alone.

Yet, we all need this space- this stretching of our souls- these quiet moments to reflect and recharge.

I took my "alone time" on Saturday morning.

The week had been a scrapbook of Christmas ornaments and grandchildren and shopping and cooking and cleaning and planning and doing and being the Super Mom.

But, as I sat in the darkness of the family room, rolled into a flannel ball in my favorite comfy chair,
I realized that I am no longer excited by the season.

I realized that what magic once had roots here, now hovers like a kite that begs for freedom.

I confessed to myself that pretending it is the most wonderful time of the year- doesn't make it so.

Perhaps it was stress, or weariness or apprehension of failure. Or maybe too many sweets, too little sleep, ...or not enough wine.

Whatever the reasons, I was feeling a bit lost.Totally consumed by the days that I have no control over.

I put on some soft Christmas music and closed my eyes- seeing quite clearly the smiling faces of my children long ago as they leap-frogged over one another to rip the wrapping from Santa's gifts- as they giggled with glee and played incessantly through the night.

I still saw them in their "jammer bottoms" and holiday slippers- their candy cane sweetness...
their effervescent joy...

And like a film on fast forward, I recalled Christmas trees of the past, special gifts, certain treats,
forgotten snowmen and lost prayers.

A tear rolled down my cheek as I sat in the darkness and mourned times passing.

Then, all of a sudden, my husband came into the room- appearing as a silhouette against the dim light of the hallway.

He walked over to me and held out his hand, helping me up from my chair, but not saying a word.
Although it was dark, I saw his smile- shining like a loving light that captured my affection.

...And we began to dance.

A slow, sweet movement in the center of the room- the Christmas music like a fading heart beat
around us- hugging like young lovers that had no fear of time.

And then just as quickly as he appeared, he left the room- squeezing my hand as though he understood the images in my mind- the quiet sorrow that surrounded me.

That dance made all the difference.

Unexpected joy came over me. A piece of magic was recaptured. A reminder that what happens today is what we should take time to enjoy. That dwelling on the past- or time- only diminishes today's memories.

And, someday, when I'm old and gray and sitting alone in the darkness at Christmas time- I'll remember that dance.

And I will smile.


  1. Thanks for sharing - brought both a tear to my eyes and a smmile to my face. Love you guys


  2. rae, i know that feeliing all too well. Life goes so fast, I dont know where or when my chldren grew up to be adults, All I know is they did,,,, and I too have spent alot of times around Christmas thinking of how they opened gifts, smiles, laughed,, how Jeff always opened his so carefully, one yr he got a guitar nearly drove his dad nuts, But fond memories, I love my children , they are my whole life, sounds like I need to dance........... however i am ow dancing with paul, we do that in the kitchen, alot.. love you with all my heart.......... your special Merry Christmas Barb