It’s six o’clock a.m. The house is dark except for the soft white lights of the Christmas tree and the lights that are shining from the Christmas village currently located over our kitchen cabinets. Like New York City, our little village never sleeps. From Thanksgiving until the New Year, our little village shines bright, another reminder of the beauty of this season. I look up from my perch in the living room and see soft, gentle lights from the Bed and Breakfast, while the flashing lights from the movie theater feel a bit obnoxious this early in the morning. The light house stands proudly at the corner of the village, lighting the way for the imaginary ships in the night while the less obtrusive lights from the horse barn, vet, and day care, library and two dozen other village landmarks match the way our our neighborhood seems to be beginning, slow and steady. Out the window, I see cars trickling down the street, neighbors beginning their day in the darkness of the December morning, no doubt with the thoughts of TGIF dancing in their heads.
I hear the sound of a “Bop it” game going on upstairs. It’s our rule, no one descends the stairs until 7 a.m., so they have to find ways to entertain themselves until the kitchen sign ignites to “Open”. While I’d prefer to hear the turning pages of a books, I am unfortunately listening to an electronic voice shouting “bop it” “twist it” and “shout it”. What can I say, I pick my battles. I tell them often that someday, when they are old like me, they will regret all the hours they did not sleep.
Soon, little ones will make their way down the stairs. Chanelle methodically marching down the stairs, Meadow slithering down, resting on each step and pausing for a cat-nap mid-way. Charlie, who usually races down the stairs like he’s being chased by a pack of wild boars, will likely descend more carefully, due to the broken collar bone event of yesterday.
Before the chaos begins, I am stealing a few moments, with the sound of Bop It humming through the air, to breathe, and write, and declare that even the simplest little things are worth remembering. I’m pausing in my quest to find my way back to the things that make my soul sing. . . the simplest things. . .
It’s cold out now. Like, really, really cold. However, most of our fall was so good to us. Beautiful sunlight and warmer temperatures allowed us to soak up every moment of daylight in our favorite ways. . .
Basketball happened. . .
Golf happened. . .
Well, kind of golf.
Football and dog jumping happened. . .
Soccer happened. . .
Smoke happened. . . ?
And the simplest things happened, which, need I say it again? They are the best things. . .
Halloween did happen somewhere during the Fall.
And of course the big FIVE. . .
Thanksgiving happened, of course my favorite, because, well, family and gratitude. . .
And as much as I loathe the cold. . .
The gifts of winter are far greater. . .
Winter slows us down. Things become simpler. I am reminded, over and over again, that this right here, right now, is life.
Breathe, breathe, breathe, has become my mantra. See it. See the good. See this moment. Be here. Breathe in this moment. In all the chaos, sibling fights, moments by the Christmas tree, visits to the ER, tender moments, black eye causing accidents, dinner squabbles, 6 a.m. bop it games, bedtime resistors, and bedtime kisses . . . all of it. . .
Breath deep. . . Breathe deep. . .