This week's calendar is as full as the winner of a pie eating contest.
A party at my house Monday after school. A date with my favorite cousin on Tuesday. The school music program on Thursday. Gift shopping and wrapping that have to be done before Friday and the beginning of winter break. Fudge and buckeyes and gingerbread to make. And a surprise addition to the venue: the temporary crown the dentist gave me last Tuesday is singing ugly songs in my head and will need to be dealt with as soon as the office opens tomorrow.
All of that on top of a job which right now consists mostly of finding ways to be more interesting to twenty-six eight year olds than Santa, grandparents coming in from out of town, and the looming magic of Christmas morning.
The weather is no respecter of plans, not even time-sensitive holiday plans. Dire forecasts of the coldest weather in ten years, snow that won't melt for days, and blizzard level winds threaten to completely undo the week.
My book group Christmas gathering, scheduled for this afternoon, has already been cancelled. Everything else is wait and see.
In past years, I would be fretting mightily at this point. The not knowing. The fact that some things can't be rescheduled. The complete lack of control.
The winds blow, tossing tree branches in a manic symphony of feathered green gyrations. Snow comes. One meandering white dot here. A second lazy descending bit of ice there. At first. Then I look up to see the air crowded with small doilies of white lace swirling their way to earth. A moment later there is nothing but stainless steel light filled with dozens and dozens of pine siskins waiting their turn to gorge at the thistle feeders.
The thermometer on the patio has dropped ten degrees from an already chilly place since I fed Toby this morning. The weatherman says it's going get even colder, before this day is done. I'll take his word. I'm not planning to go outside and find out for myself.
The house is cozy warm. Smells of chocolate and cinnamon and ginger will soon join the evergreen fragrance that lives here this time of year. Emma, Grace and Cooper dream feline dreams on separate chairs, the perfect picture of ease and entitled safety.
Walt and I sat and talked this morning, about this and that, dreams and hopes, the past and the future. No urgency. No agenda. A conversation that increased the warmth of our home and the day in a way no fire could.
Walt and Toby are outside playing soccer on the sugar dusted lawn in the razor sharp air as I write. The happy murmur of Walt's voice and Toby's answering growls provide melody to the rhythm of the blowing wind.
Gratitude that I can feel the gift of this day, completely free from anxiety about what the week might bring, fills me now. Even my angry tooth is not enough to dim the light. I marvel at the peace of this release of plans and expectations and what-ifs. I glory in the grace of it, and hope that it finds a home in my heart.
photo from Flickr