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Saturday, January 1

return from Oz

That's what the holidays feel like. Like your life was picked up by a whirlwind and dropped into an alternate existence where everything is real but different and time slows down, shifts into a neutral gear. Every aspect of your life seems affected by a sort of seasonal vapor. Your work hours are different, strange decorations permeate everything from the front office to your bosses desk. Employees feel compelled to bring in cookies and chocolate popcorn.

And your house! Your house takes on a new identity, alternating between wrapping central to gingerbread cottage. I mean, my mantle never looks like this:

It is more likely to have stacks of unopened mail, a dog brush and a bowl of pennies on it. But for Christmas, we sweep away the normal detritus for a more celebratory clutter.

And then there is the tree. I love our little tree.

But it is a temporary visitor. In a few days it will be a pathetic little branch at the side of the road and the furniture will be pushed back into its usual place and a bucket of magazines I am truly going to read this year will take its spot.

And so life revs up again and that brief foray away from life as we know it ends. Bills appear in the mailbox. Paperwork needs organizing. Books of paint colors lie open on the dining room table waiting for us to make a decision. My first application for the 2011 show season is due a week from today and I have no pictures, no beautiful items with which to wow the jury. And I won't even think about the laundry.

Maybe the best thing about the Winter solstice, no matter what your personal spirituality calls you to celebrate, is this communal escape from real life. From problems and worries and responsibility. We gather together as friends, as family. For every nut job that honks at you in traffic you can't control, there are dozens of strangers who smile and wish you Happy Holidays. People that a few weeks ago would have brushed by with a "scuse me". It is somehow appropriate that the finale of the season is the beginning of a new year. We have ended the year with a trip away from the things that consume us and we return rested and ready to take it all on again. With new resolve and a sweet belief that this time it will all be better.

That is what I wish for all of us. The ability to continue to believe in ourselves. Follow our own yellow brick road. There may not be answers at the end of it, but oh! the journey.

1 comment:

Debbie said...

Beautiful and right on the mark. Not only do you have a magnificent eye that sees the word from the inside out, but you have the gift for words that make it so easy to understand. The ordinary looked at as the extraordinary which it truly is.