Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Eve

Well the freezer is defrosted, the garbage is gone, the recycling done, and tonight I will put out clean dish towels to ready the kitchen for the new year. These are things my mother taught me to do on the eve of the new year.

I always do these things on December 31, and I always think of her on this day. This year more than ever perhaps because I was gifted a ring this year that had once belonged to her. It is a lovely vintage wedgewood ring with an image of the goddess Diana and the stag. I don't know the story behind this ring - where she got it, or what the significance is, but now it is mine and I wear it with gratitude.

I have often written that I have my mother's hands. This Christmas my daughter wrote me that she feels she has my hands, and so the generations flow. One day this ring will be hers, and who know if there will one day be a daughter for her to hand it on to.

This ring, for me, now, in 2013, represents family, and support. Love and friendship. Faith and Hope.

Diana was the goddess of the hunt. This is her Roman name. Her Greek name was Artemis. She was the twin of Apollo, and loved Orion. She is the goddess of the hunt, childbirth, virginity and the protector of animals and young women. Her father was Zeus, her mother Leda (or Leto)....and that story is not a happy one.

The stag is involved in many myths - one involves the twelve tasks of Hercules.

So I could analyze for hours why this image was on this ring of my mother's, but to me, Artemis is a strong woman, protector of animals and patron goddess to those in childbirth.

It is also said she brings and heals diseases that come to women. That is an interesting paradox.

Orion has always been my favourite constellation. He guides me through the winter skies. And I do so love walking in the forest and hoping to come upon a deer, or stag. Sometimes they come to me - right in my own front lawn.

So it is New Year's Eve. 2013 has not been easy in many ways, but there have been many highlights and stellar moments as well. So it is with every year. So it will be with 2014.

I am looking forward.

That is a good reason to put out clean tea towels just before midnight.

And to sing Auld Lang Syne as the New Year arrives.

And, wherever you are, Mum, this one's for you.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve

The tree is up, the presents are mostly wrapped, the baking is done,and I will probably get out of my pjs soon.

I am at peace during what many feel is a hectic season and I am thankful for so many things. Thankful for our medical system (twice this year!), thankful my daughter made the drive to PEI safely. Thankful for my brother's health due to the new treatment he was on. I am thankful for honest conversations, and good company. I am thankful for good friends who make this season about so much more than material things. I am thankful for apologies accepted. I am thankful that even though neither of my children are home for Christmas I feel close to them.

I am thankful for the birds that come to my feeders outside the kitchen window to cheer me up, and for the delightful Anna's hummingbird that came to feed even during the snow last week. I am thankful for the fox sparrow who has just arrived at the feeder in the last two days. He is a cheeky thing.

Tonight I will sit with my husband in front of the fire, with our little tree, probably watching Alastair Sim in A Christmas Carol and I will cry at the end as I always do.

Tomorrow I will spend wrapped in the love of family and it will be noisy and boisterous and there will be dogs to cuddle. There is always dogs to cuddle at these gatherings.

I am thankful that the days are getting longer, and that the last month of recuperation has given me time to get priorities straight. Again.

I am thankful for all those who read these entries. The thought of you all makes me feel so less alone.

I will read Twas the night before Christmas to myself this year, as there are no children to read it to and it will connect me to my own childhood, as it always does.

"And I heard him exclaim as he rode out of sight, "Happy Christmas to All, and to all a good night"."

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Those wee small hours

December 18

I have taken to waking up around 3am and those are the prime hours for fretting. Last night was particularly bad because I was not feeling well, I had had a stomach ache all day and it seemed worse at 3am. Everything always seems worse at 3am. I was feeling scared, and, well, mortal. Since the moment I heard that I needed surgery my mortality has been front and center.

I finally fell asleep around 7 after a warm text exchange with my daughter and woke up around 10am. Normally I would keep these fears to myself and just move on with the day, but this morning I admitted my fragility, my fears, my worries to my dear husband. There were tears, and soft words, and after an hour or so we both got on with our day. I did dishes, sorted papers and reveled in the gorgeous sun shining into the kitchen. I changed the water in the hummingbird feeder, watched the juncos and black squirrel on the back porch railing and got caught up on paperwork and 'stuff', that had been weighing on me.

I made plans for later in the day, and, despite the four hours of fear in the middle of the night, today feels hopeful. I am enjoying this lead up to Christmas. No scurrying madly in the malls, no fretting about presents, no feelings of overwhelm, or exhaustion - at least not about Christmas. Perhaps it is because I am recovering from surgery and I am exhausted, but for more etheric and physical reasons than materialistic.

I saw the Paradise play yesterday - the first of a trilogy of medieval plays that Rudolf Steiner indicated. Tomorrow I will see the Shepherds Play performed by a group of delightful mentally challenged adults, and on Epiphany I will perform in the Kings Play (I am the angel!).
This is the first year I will have seen all three plays during the Christmas season. A silver lining to the surgery which postponed our intended camping trip down south. I have learned there is always a silver lining. Sometimes it is hard to see.

My best friend's birthday is today. My nephew arrives home from Montreal today. My son called yesterday and my daughter and I have a phone date for later today. I am surrounded by people I love and people who love me.

I will have to remind myself of this tomorrow at 3am.