It's easy, right now, to wish to move on with things and welcome in the bright emptiness of the new calendar year. I am trying to savor this time out of time while it is here, to be more present, and to wrap up the season with connection and presence. The Twelve Days of Christmas are a time of clarity for many and I feel it, too. I can look back and see what I would like to keep and discard, both for the year and for Christmas. I've spent little snippets of time clearing out things and reorganizing. It's small, really, since this work here is full time, but every little bit helps. I think these days are very reflective, and considering materials possessions is certainly fitting.
It's also fitting to consider the past and the people that are gone from this world. On Sunday, in particular, I felt the presence of my Grandma Lois quite strongly. She was the person who made Christmas for me when I was a child. Mike and the children had gone to a cemetery, as we often do, and I was remembering how she left us. It was a car accident just three weeks before Christmas Eve, the day we always gathered for celebration. Our family was never the same after that, as if she really were the glue that held us all together and kept us on the path. Things changed rapidly afterward, as the threads she brought to the family tapestry quickly unravelled. My own life was still constant, but that was not the case for everyone.
I've been doing some biography work this year, inner work, with the adult development book Tapestries. After focusing so heavily on child development for the past six or so years, it's helpful for me to consider where I am going in all of this. I feel like I have taken hold of some big things this year, many of them quite private, and it's both empowering and frightening. Thirty-three truly has been a "valley of the shadow of death" year for me, though I have had many moments of joy and beauty. In these twelve days, I'm casually using these exercises from The Parenting Passageway.
I do think I would like to give more outward energy to these days next year, though I do have a few things planned for this year. Advent has become less and less each year, and I think I will continue in that mood. I still really, really want a tree with real candles on it, just once or twice.
Well, time to give some attention to my bread dough. We've got SNOW this morning! Happy sixth day of Christmas!