When I was younger my tactic for falling asleep was to imagine what my life would be like. I would create in my mind, pictures of my wedding or my house, or Christmas. The images would come alive like a film strip. I would have a big house, with lots of rooms, and every Christmas my whole family and my husband’s family would come to stay with us. There would be a hustle and bustle around the house, the smell of turkey, lots of presents and every corner would be graced with Christmas in every cinnamon smelling, tinsel shining, laughter giving, love-filled sort of way. This was when I thought I was going to marry a doctor or an architect. Well, lets just say, life turned out a little different. I married a musician and spent many a year since we got married six years ago, struggling to make ends-meet – going to school, paying off student debt, going to school again, getting pregnant, paying off more student debt…you get the idea. And while I don’t have my big house settled in amongst huge evergreens with a view of the water (yet) life is still beautiful. This weekend has been no exception.
Around Thursday I decided to just let go and threw the to-do list out. My wonderful M-I-L took Jakob Friday afternoon and it was such a blessing. While Ella slept I re centered from a whirlwind week as I sipped tea, listened to Christmas music and rolled out shortbread…..alone. Ben had his recital for his students on Friday night and they all did a wonderful job. It was our first outing since Ella got sick and it was refreshing to socialize with people older than 3 years old.
Saturday, we prepared for our inter-racial support group, cleaning the house, grocery shopping and making dumplings. The thing about dumplings is that you really can’t make them fast. They are tedious and time consuming. But that is the beauty of it. You see our support group is for just that – beautiful, energy and time rich food. It seemed to be dumpling of your country night so we had gyoza’s, empanadas, samosas and sushi, accompanied by homemade humus, fruit salsa with cinnamon tortillas, Christmas baking, Christmas pudding complete with hard sauce, and that is just to name a few. But before we gorged ourselves we went and sang carols at the hospital. Complete with kids and colds (shhhhhh, don’t tell them) we bundled up, hymnals in hand and sang our hearts out for those who have lived full lives and are now gearing down and perhaps miss out on some of the festivities. I think we were all blessed.
As I tried to get a bit caught up tonight addressing cards, wrapping presents and drinking hot apple cider I recalled the images I would play over in my mind in earlier years and I realized that although it is nothing like I had pictured, the friends that surround us, the faith that leads us and the spirit that indwells us, make this one truly beautiful life.
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