of celebration and rest; breathing in circles

We found our way through the mystery and joy of Christmas this year, and have come out the other side.  It was a glorious treasure to share these celebrations with friends and family alike, but always, (always) after times like these I find that we need to recalibrate — to fall back into the familiar, unhastened rhythms of our own family, in our own space.  This year, more than ever, I’m feeling this heavy return of the pendulum as we share this last few weeks as a family of four.

Blessings abundant have been poured out onto us — in time, food, love, attention, devotion, hugs and kisses, laughter — but of course in gifts.  Real and tangible, things to hold and cherish.  I truly blush at the myriad ways that my Little Ones especially have been lavished.  It is good; of course they are beyond thankful. But all of these blessings, all of these gifts are now lined up in my family room, staring me down.  I’m being mocked by my desire for simplicity, scoffed at by these piles of toys and books.  What I know this means is that it is time to sift and sort, time to cultivate and curate.  But oh, how easy it is to be mastered by those piles!

Likewise, though I was more protective of our family time and our need to just be in the holiday, instead of making our way, doing the holiday, it still is just so much.  There are people who love us dearly, whom we love, that need our time and attention.  While spread over the course of four days, it was definitely a long four days, and even with copious amounts of time at home to play and drift and nap, by that fourth evening out I had two fragile Little Ones.  And really, I of course can’t say that I felt any differently.  When I had to prompt the Eldest, who is usually overly polite and bursting with manners, to say “thank you” for a gift, and received defiance and tears, I knew that we were on our very edges.  And oh how I long to teach my Little Ones to respect their edges!

The overcast sky and its imposing drops of rain tell me today that we are right at home: resetting, finding our center.  The Eldest is still cozy in his pajamas; I’m still reaching for my tea cup.  I’ve traded our endless loop of Christmas music for a soundtrack to mirror the darkened sky.  Laundry is being pushed through, a constant reminder of the circles we weave in our home, leading us back to center.

The Blessing of the blessings is that we breathe; we settle in. We circle ’round.  We continue to make room.  We make room for Light that has come into this Dark; we make room for the toys and gifts that will rearrange our play area.  We make room for newborn diapers and burp cloths; for swaddling blankets and newborn hats. We make room for Peace, incarnate, and peace in our home.  We leave space for fragile ones, arms open wide with extra grace.  And rest.  Deep, abiding rest.

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