Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul,
Like a weaned child with his mother;
Like a weaned child is my soul within me.
It has taken awhile.
Usually, in the fall, I am filled with
a sense of calm and well-being. The lengthening days and increasing
dark soothe me.
For a variety of seasons that simply did not
happen this year.
Today is a gentle day. I am
experiencing a sense of calm and content that has eluded me for a
while. The sky is the clear cornflower blue that I love so dearly.
The afternoon sunlight “pours in like butterscotch,”* and
drenches everything in a golden glow. The light is almost visible.
The holidays are coming. I can listen
to holiday music now without my family complaining (too much). I am
not going anywhere this December, so I can look towards a hopefully
not-too-stressful Christmas. The traditions of our family, which
whatever the condition of my faith mean a great deal to me, are on
the horizon: The Not-So-Little Drummer Boy will be home in a couple
of weeks, there will be the annual tree hunt and decorating, and the
latke dinner cooked by the Resident Shrink on the second night of
Hanukkah. And this year, I may return to Midnight Mass, the
comforting ritual of a Catholic upbringing. There are always the
carols we sing on Christmas Eve evening, a holdover from The Rocket
There will be the lights, and the
annual trip around various neighborhoods to see the displays. The
highlight for the past few years has been the ten-foot tall reindeer
in Willow Glen. The lights bring me great joy.
This is not to say there is not a lot
in my life right now that is cause for concern or sadness. I am
still without a job, with all the economic and personal uncertainty
that brings, and a close friend just lost hers. Various members of my
family are going through times of great stress, even pain. I am
there for them as much as I can be. I am still recovering from being
sick, given to bouts of great fatigue. (I recognize that this may
contribute to my sense of calm: I really do not have the energy to be
stressed about anything.)
But my life is what it is.
And at just this very moment, that's
*From “Chelsea Morning,” by Joni