Today I prepare for the next few days with friends and family. I’ve got three events in three days to attend, and then the rest of the month “off” with my husband.
I’ve never been a big Christmas kinda gal. In fact, I celebrate Yule, but even then, it’s not been on my top list of holidays.
Except this year.
This year I really feel like I need to stop a moment and appreciate the silence between the movement. Life has been so busy this last year with two jobs, home life and social obligations that I hardly even notice it passing anymore.
I wasn’t always like that. I used to observe the changing of the seasons religiously. Taking moments out of my life to acknowledge the passing of the year helped me to stay grounded, and focused. This last year I have been focused, but not grounded. I have felt a bit lost in fact. Some of that has to do with an uncertain future, settling into a new life and the always fun first newlywed year. Before I knew it, I looked up and it was Mother’s Night again. (For those of you who don’t know Yule and all it’s intricacies, Mother’s Night is the first night of the 12 days of Yule, and one where we remember the women who have gone before us.) It reminded me to take a moment and breathe. The year was over, the constant hustle I had been doing was done, and everything else could wait until … well, until after the 25th at least. I can’t take THAT much time off, the perils of owning your own business, gearing up for a big event in January and all that.
We hung up the Yule wreath over the fireplace and that helped. It felt right and looked so pretty. I don’t do a lot of decorations, but the Yule wreath is one of the important ones. Perhaps next year I’ll do a Yule log. I don’t really have the desire to do a tree, so those two things are about as far as I want to go right now.
I’ve also had the desire to bake lately. Horribly fatty things that neither my husband nor I can actually eat. But I don’t want to eat the things, just bake them. I want to mix and stir and warm my hands by the oven. I want to create little packages of sweets to remind my loved ones that the hate and anger and darkness that exists outside the wall of light cast by my oven fire isn’t the only thing in the world. That love and goodness is out there too, and I made it into food form, just for them. Food is great at bringing people together and reminding folks of the loved ones who have gone before.
I am holding reign on my baking desires and have decided to only make two cakes, one for my husband’s family dinner and one for my family dinner. I figure by the time I finish the second one I’ll have scratched my baking itch and can go back to cooking healthier fare.
This next year will be full of trials and tribulations, scary new experiences and hardships, but it will also be full of friends and family. Those scary new experiences will help me grow as a person and will be well worth it in the long run.
For me, this time can be summed up by a poem I wrote many years ago:
The cool concoction of Coffee slides down my parched throat
The flavorful slice of Fruit bread finds a home on my plate
The pine wreath fills the air with a wistful smell
While the warmth of the fire washes over me.
This is the Time of Yule
Laughter echoes down long hallways
Dancing merrily between the folk and friends alike
Children scamper carelessly between groups of adults
Wondering who will sneak them another drink from the wassail bowl.
This is the Time of Yule
A voice raised in song floats, briefly on the air
A few hardy protests when it ceases.
A squeal from a lady who found herself caught by her love
Giggles as she quickly forgives him.
This is the Time of Yule.
You can find that poem and a whole host of my other works on my other blog: The Ephemeral Prosaist
I guess what I’m trying to say is… From Boyd, Eudora, the Crew and everyone else here at The Prophet’s Web: Happy Holidays folks.