Christmas came and went in a blur. It was lovely, and we gave and received muchly, all with deep gratitude and joy, as is befitting this winter celebration of the dying year, and the world's rebirth...
Now this year is almost over, and I, for one, am glad. Everything has turned out well, but still...it's been hell, and I'll be glad when it's behind me.
I'm looking forward to January, that cold, grey month of thin light and long shadows and the low, low sun.
It's almost Christmas, and I'm almost ready...but not quite. I've done most, but not all, of the must-dos: tree, decorations, presents are all nearly done. But I'm not quite ready in my heart, either. I'm afraid Christmas will come and be gone without me ever getting fully in the Christmas spirit, and I don't want that to happen. What I want is the wonder, the joy, the giddy anticipation. Am I too old for that?
I think I need Auntie Mame...
For I've grown a little leaner, grown a little colder
Grown a little sadder, grown a little older
And I need a little angel sitting on my shoulder
Need a little Christmas now
Surely that'll do it. Bring on the Christmas!
The very word brings joy to our hearts.
No matter how we may dread the rush,
the long Christmas lists for gifts and cards to be bought and given -
when Christmas Day comes there is still the same warm feeling we had as children,
the same warmth that enfolds our hearts and our homes.
One of the best things about old friends, if you're lucky (and I am, without a doubt), is that even if it's been years between visits, the time apart flies away the minute your eyes meet again, and all the catching up and filling in is accomplished with ease, and joy...no guilt, no sadness, just joy at seeing each other again.
We did that, my darling longest loves and I, those dears from forever and always. We laughed and cried and created a terrible, wonderful ruckus and didn't give one damn that we were making a scene. We talked, and shared, and caught up, and it was wonderful. Those faces, those voices, those familiar laughs...such treasures. Carol swears it's been 20 years, and mathematically I know she's right, but in my heart? That's impossible!
Nostalgia has a strong hold on me these days.
Regrets? Not exactly...more like wishes, and mainly the wish that I could have my cake and eat it too. I wish I could be back in Arkansas, my life intertwined with those I've loved so long, living in a place so familiar that it seems to slow the passage of time...I wish I could do that, AND be here, in the separate and beautiful life I made for myself when I left Little Rock 31 years ago. I wish I could have it all. Now that I'm working from home (thank you, former employer, for putting me in a position to make that happen, and thank you even more, new employer, for making it possible!) I plan to make more frequent trips back. I need to refill the well.
Missy, my best friend since babyhood (we played in a playpen together), spent a whole afternoon pampering me at the day spa where she works as an aesthetician, and I left that evening with long, fluttery eyelash extensions, which, although my own lashes are fine and stubby, looked amazing and natural. So fun!
These completely unnatural extensions would be fun, too, don't you think? I'd wear 'em!
All the better to see you with, my dears...
"Love is blind; friendship closes its eyes."
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Missy, Laura, Carol, Sherry, Dennis (and Skip!) - I love you!! :)