"…I pray this winter be gentle and kind –
a season of rest from the wheel of the mind…"
JOHN GEDDES, A Familiar Rain
Many people are disheartened about current Covid restrictions to not gather with family and friends over the Christmas holidays. Of course, it's disappointing but better safe than sorry is my feeling about it. I prefer an 'empty' table this Christmas to ensure (fingers crossed) a full table with no one missing because of the virus next year. As we wait, we can dream about what a celebration we're going to have when it is finally safe to do so.
In the meantime, weirdo that I am sometimes, I admit to being excited about the shift in the usual traditions. Some years I might have been upset about it, but I don't feel that way this year—it's been odd already anyways, and we've had to learn to adapt all along. It's one more 'adventure' to add to the memory pile. Besides, the interruptions of the usual gives us room to pause, to reflect on what really matters, to notice what still remains when all the shaking stops.
It will be just the two of us this year for Christmas Dinner. Of course, we will celebrate the season, but everything will be simpler and smaller. We'll have our bite of turkey with our favourite stuffing and gravy and cranberries. I am already dreaming of simple ways the two of us can spread Christmas treats over the month instead of trying to cram them into those one or two days.
Making the best of Covid restrictions with a good attitude may turn out to have lovely surprises waiting in the wings if we let it. It's true, I might feel differently if my circumstances were less congenial here in my home with my dear heart husband. So I only speak for myself. In this unprecedented year where we've had to live inside each other's pockets 24/7, I have found that my husband of 22 years is indeed a boon companion with whom to share this unexpected journey.
I promised you the Daybook edition, so let's begin. Today I'm using prompts from The Simple Woman's Daybook, and I have also added a few of my own. I hope you enjoy, I thought of you as I was writing.
Outside my window...
Oh, the weather outside is
It's mild and sunny—we're grateful
Sunrises at 8:30 ish these mornings
Sunsets around 4:15 ish
Stunning performances of both these past days.
I am thinking...
three or four minutes
when someone special arrived
at the front door the other evening
no happy hugs or handshakes
no proper invite to 'please come in'
no cheery chats or heart to hearts
just a package drop off
a quick hello
a farewell wave from the front door
as she drove away
I am thankful...
fingers crossed and prayers breathed,
so far we are all still well and safe.
One of my favourite things...
at this time of year is reading and reciting the old beloved words
of the Christmas Story as written in the Gospel of Luke.
I grew up on the King James Version so its familiar rhythms
comfort me as I hear them. Especially when Linus recites it.
I am wearing...
My new black skinny jeans, black cotton shirt, patterned wool socks in grey and teal.
#Breakingnews: I had the recent gleeful pleasure of ordering jeans one size smaller. It was to the point where, if I didn't buy a new pair soon, I was gonna need suspenders to hold the whole thing up. It's a good problem, yes? My determined effort to walk every day and eat smaller portions, with fewer cookies at teatime, paid off. Did I say I felt gleeful? I do pass the mirror often these days to admire my more svelte self.
I am creating...
my own beautiful world inside my head.
I am watching...
more sunrises and sunsets than ever this fall.
Some have been over-the-top glorious. Have you noticed that too?
I am reading...
Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher. An old treasure,
the story is familiar, but every time I read it this time of
year, it becomes alive and fresh again. I do enjoy finding my
favourite passages...lines like these:
"Life is sweet. . . Beyond the pain, life continues to be sweet.
The basics are still there. Beauty, food and friendship, reservoirs of love
and understanding. Later, possibly not yet, you are going to need others
who will encourage you to make new beginnings. Welcome them.
They will help you move on, to cherish happy memories and confront
the painful ones with more than bitterness and anger."
I am listening to...
An English choir singing the lovely old carol In the Bleak Midwinter. I came to this carol late in life—I never heard it growing up, but it has become a new favourite. The carol is based on a poem entitled ‘A Christmas Carol’ by English poet Christina Rossetti, which was first published in January 1872. The poem was eventually set to a melody by composer Gustav Holst and was published under the title ‘In The Bleak Midwinter’ in The English Hymnal.
I am hoping...
that Santa still comes this year (surely he's
exempt from Covid restrictions).
I am learning...
that if one wants to sneak a bit of chocolate in the middle of an afternoon
while reading, one should remove all noisome cellophane wrappers beforehand.
Our Christmas Tree 2020
" Nothing ever seems too bad, too hard, or too sad
when you've got a Christmas tree in the living room. "
In the kitchen...
Not doing much old-fashioned Christmas baking this year. But
my good friend Heather is running a small business
selling her famous gingersnaps. We've placed our order.
" Surely everyone is aware of the divine pleasures which attend a
wintry fireside; candles at four o’clock, warm hearthrugs, tea, a fair
tea-maker, shutters closed, curtains flowing in ample draperies
to the floor, whilst the wind and rain are raging audibly without. "
THOMAS DE QUINCEY, Confessions of an English Opium Eater
Something different this Christmas...
Plans are underway in this household to make an Afternoon Tea for Two
one day close to Christmas. We'll spend the morning
making tiny scones, fancy finger sandwiches, and a sweet or two.
We've got a lovely Assam tea with bergamot and lavender with which
to pair it all. Of course, we'll use the pretty china.
In the garden...
Everything is under snow, and our feathered friends keep Rick
busy filling the feeders—nuthatches, chickadees, finches, northern flickers,
downy woodpeckers. Our birdseed supplier hasn't had peanuts in stock
for a while so our bluejays got fed up and went elsewhere. 😢
A favourite link...
My dear friend, Joy, wrote a wonderful post on her blog
Scraps of Joy about the hope that has kept her going
during this difficult year of the pandemic. Beautiful words.
A favourite quote...
“Shut the door not that it lets in the cold
but that it lets out the coziness.”
A moment from my day...
A new Christmas swag on our front door.
I made the bow myself after
watching helpful videos on YouTube.
Keep watching for glimpses of heaven in unexpected places,
Take joy in what you do have.
Go for short walks. Or long ones. Stand on your front step
and breathe lusty breaths of fresh air.
Clear your head and calm your heart.
Stay safe and well, dear hearts.
* * *
♥ ♥ ♥
PS. Remember my sweet Puppy encounter of the other day?
My BIL sent photos of grandkids, which included one with
a glimpse of Puppy playing in the snow with her new older
brother. Her tail, up in a jaunty wave, was a happy sighting.
(Top) Image by Gudrun Becker from Pixabay