Words on a whim – 12/16/13

Weird Monday. Filled with emotion.

A colleague and friend’s brother passed away unexpectedly on Friday. I saw him for the first time this morning. We hugged. All he could say was, “It hurts so much. It hurts so much.” I know. We cried.

He died sitting in his favorite hunting spot, looking out on frozen Lake Champlain. This image is at once peaceful and heart wrenching. It makes me question what went on in Roderick’s mind, three years ago at exactly this time of year, as his own light was fading away.

The weekend was good. I surprise myself making more room for personal projects and even idleness on the weekends. My pace is in transition. Every few years, not necessarily at this time of year, but rather over time, I notice that I seem to be looking for a greater sense of composure. I do not readily give in to drama anymore, it seems, even the self-imposed drama of “shoulds.” Some miss their youth. I don’t. I prefer who I am now.

ps - 1216 - gift

Joy shows up in simple, peaceful ways. One of my guilty pleasures at this time of year is a tradition that has come into my life thanks to Roderick’s sister. Every Christmas, she surprised us with a box filled with a collection of goodies. Even when she hardly knew me, she always managed to select just the right items to add delight to the season. Always something beautiful, practical, or edible. I look forward to this package, and what I especially enjoy is taking part in the tradition by preparing a package of my own.

This is what I did yesterday. I spent several hours wrapping the little things I have found throughout the year and set aside for this occasion. I wrapped everything with fabric and twine this year. I just sat on the floor in the middle of a pile of items and colorful fabric, with A Prairie Home Companion in the background, enveloping one thing after another in a square of fabric. Peacefully.

I made brownies today. I just felt like making brownies. The house smelled good. I think I will have a bit as I spend the next few hours sewing.

Life is not the gift; how we are transformed by what we experience in life is the gift.


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