Monday, December 10, 2007

Slow it down!

December is flying by -- it's like the wind that's been around here for several days is urging the sun to scoot across the sky and night to come more quickly.

Our days are shrinking -- slightly less than two weeks and we'll be at the shortest day of the year, the Winter Solstice. And then it's a rush to the New Year. At least days will begin lengthening again as we continue with the second half of winter.

It's not that I mind winter. I rather like the cold days, the clouds, the rain and wind. It makes me want to curl up with a book, cat in my lap, and sip tea while I read something delectably trashy. (Like I've allowed myself THAT particular luxury... ha!)

And I don't miss the sunshine much. We have so much of it in the summers that I like to soak up the clouds and cool.

No, it's that the days go by so quickly, with sunrise at 7:20-something, and sunset before 5.

I've also been knee-deep in deadlines, as if merely accomplishing Christmas tasks weren't enough -- and they've taken second place to the other deadlines. There are no cookies nor breads baked, nothing is wrapped -- very little has been purchased or done, and what's going to be mailed has gotta be ready in a week. I did get a few decorations up yesterday so it looks festive, and we've been enjoying Christmas music immensely.

A word on that: the Trans-Siberian Orchestra has a couple of Christmas CDs out that are just dynamite played on a good system -- they're good regardless, but we've enjoyed them even more with new equipment.

Do you remember the Christmas lights video of a couple of years ago? That was set to one of the Trans-Siberian cuts, "Wizard in Winter." The creator of the lighting display has done several more since, actually creating a company as a result of the popularity of this display.

Anyway, the music is quite fun.

So I always have good intentions of making gifts -- sewing, or taking photos, or baked goods -- and sometimes I actually do it -- but I don't think this is the year for much. I think I'll get a little baking done, but not a lot -- and we don't need it anyway. I'll send fudge and maybe a couple of other things..

The wind has been really wild and is supposed to get more so tonight, I gather. And yet the leaves are still clinging to the trees like fleas to a dog! They're ugly and brown and tired, and yet they still hang on. I guess we need a hard rain and more wind to help them let go.

I suppose we cling to old ways like that, hanging on until they're shriveled without a speck of moisture or life left. Takes a hard rain -- or the cheese moving -- to make us let go so that the new leaves can be nourished, and eventually bud and furl out in the spring. And that will come all too soon, I know, blowing in with the wind.

Once more I'm trying to stay in the moment and not obsess over what is undone or unwrapped or unpurchasd or yet to be sorted. It's a daily effort, isn't it.

Listen to music. Savor the moment. Enjoy the friendships. Stay in touch with family. The rest of it just isn't as important as all that. Cookies can be purchased. Gifts don't have to be extravagant, nor even perfect -- everyone I know enjoys the intangible gifts of the season more than the purchased ones anyway. Oh, I've got things I must do -- but I'm going to have fun along the way too.

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