I’ve never been a fan of winter and cold weather but one thing I do like about this time of year is driving home and watching spectacular sunsets over the rolling pastures. They seem much more….everything…than summer sunsets which don’t even show up until a toddler’s bedtime. I’m home today and I happened to glance out the window just now and it was all streaks of red and orange with a deepening blue sky behind them and so I bundled up and went outside to see it closer.
Then I walked around the yard and filled my wagon full of sticks and logs in case I make a fire later tonight or possibly tomorrow. The fire place is one of the best things about this house. This ugly house I’ve managed to fix up nicely, according to my mother. I believe her actual comment was, “Well, you’ve really done a good job on one of the ugliest houses I’ve ever seen.” This is a compliment to her and I’m still struggling to accept it as one. It’s as close as she gets.
And this calm-after-the-drama-storm of holiday #1 has also been restorative. Yesterday it was manipulation and arguments and tantrums and aggressive silence and making nice when I’d rather not have. Now, in the time I have left before regular life returns, I’m trying to find a quiet space, a quiet place to be.
This morning, I drove down and had breakfast with an old high school friend and her husband and I am proud to say I succeeded in having a really good conversation in which I said nothing weird or awkward (I hope) and didn’t put my foot in my mouth once (I think). At least my companions were gracious enough to not notice.
And soon I’ll drive back down in the dark and meet up with family members I enjoy and who seem to like me for what I am: a not perfect person with questionable taste who tries to be good and kind and doesn’t always manage it. Life is often one step forward and one-and-a-half steps back every day. Every week.
I should do some writing with the days I have left but I’ve become really good at making excuses not to. I think I’ve run out of them now. There aren’t any more projects, the household chores are minimal, there aren’t many distractions. So, perhaps I’ll take this gift of silence and turn it into something. Maybe I’ll stay up late, build a fire, pull up a blank document and….jump into the scary unknown.