Sunday, December 26, 2010

Snowy peace

The East is being hit by a blizzard tonight...but not us.  I know my friends in New York are seeing up to 20 inches of snow, but here, the snow has circumvented skirted the mountains, gently touched the edge of the pine trees, and left us a pocket of flurries...a light snow dusting covers the grass, and nothing more.

Yesterday, Christmas Day, was a riot of noise.  My parents, my sister and her boyfriend, and Gabby and the children arrived, and the kids dove in to opening their gifts.  After all of the hysteria of that, we sat around in the kitchen, eating and drinking, and recalling good times of Christmas past, and had many laughs, and again, a tear or two.  We enjoyed each other's company all the more, it being recognized as precious, in light of Nicole's passing the day before...

After everyone was gone, and the house was quiet, Mark and I began the clean up, and quite exhausted, we both went directly to sleep.  This lingering sickness reared it's ugly head at night, with aches, congestion, sore throat, etc., and along with a general malaise in my mind, sleep was hard to come by.

We arose early today and headed out to Church, which was quite empty, since of the approaching snow and recent holiday, but the message was comforting, and I was glad I made the little effort to get there.  I got home, and everyone just quietly went to their own little corners of the house to do their own activities...Mark and Anthony sat to watch football, Noelle to play on her new iPhone, and I headed out to my studio, for the first time since the day before Christmas Eve, to do some work.

As the fire crackled in my little potbellied stove, and the snow gently fell, I felt such a peace wash over me.  It was like a little pocket of Heaven, a moment frozen in time.  In that moment, I felt a radiant love in the midst of the mental queasiness that had been hanging over me for the last few days.  Then, as quickly as it came, it evaporated, and I stood there, in front of my easel, and I could just feel the paint jumping out at me, the colors blazing, with a sense of urgency...As if all of my fears were tied into that painting...the ridges and swirls of colors, the smooth expanses of creamy hues, and I felt an appetite arise in me that became as big as the room itself, and again, I felt peace.

I don't know what this New Year will bring, none of us do.  Sadly, I have reached some sort of proverbial "hump" where I don't really look with excitement toward the New Year, more like with bated breath and a bit of trepidation, but I won't do that.  I staunchly refuse to let fear creep into my life...An old friend of mine used to say, "Do all you can do, and then stand."  That's what I plan to do. Stand, not cower.

Nicole's wake is set for Tuesday and Wednesday, with her burial on Thursday.  It was a long, suffering journey for her, and now, she has reached her destination, the Heavenly realm.  I pray for the strength to go this last distance with her earthly remains, as the parting point for us here, and we will meet again in the next life...that thought brings me comfort, and shores me up for the difficult next few days...

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