a quiet journey
Ugh. The flu bug has struck our home. I hate being sick but being sick at this time of year-OMG.
I was already behind due to the renovation and my mom’s care. I’m trying to convince myself I’ve been this far behind before during the Christmas season but I know it’s never been this bad. The truth is I’m one of those annoying people who’ve always been able to brag about being done with my shopping and wrapping by Thanksgiving. Seriously. By this time I’ve made and froze what cookie dough can be prepared this way in preparation for an all-day baking marathon later in the month. All the Christmas decorations would have been artfully displayed the week after Thanksgiving.
This year, the tree sits unadorned. The boxes and boxes of Christmas ornaments are still tucked away in their beds apparently for a long winter’s nap. Many gifts are yet to be purchased and those I have bought are yet to be wrapped. I haven’t even made out my master list of who is getting what and how much I’ve spent. Oh, and I forgot to mention all the homemade gifts I like to make. I should be panicking but I’m not. I tell myself that I always get it all done. I’m not so sure this year though.
I was just starting to get my footing when the flu bug bit. I remember little of it as I spiked a high temp and slept away a whole day. So now I’m even further behind. But here’s the thing. It’s o.k. It really is. (Maybe I’ve been too sick to panic. J)
I think not though. I think maybe I’ve finally realized that Christmas is not only a time to give gifts, it IS a gift. The season itself, I mean. It is the gift of serenity. The serenity that comes from knowing there is another story being played out in the “heavenlies”, a story that is so much bigger than me and my flu and obsessing about how I don’t have twenty-four hours to spare to be sick. But now I’m reminded that I don’t have the control over things I think I have. Things happen. The Christmas season can get interrupted for all kinds of reasons-some of our own making, some outside our control. Like the flu.
I’ve been thinking about how “quite” was the journey that Mary and Joseph took to Bethlehem. The whispered conversations they must have had as they snuggled under the stars with the gentle breeze cooling them at night and the sounds of the night singing them to sleep. This trip could well have been the first time they even had a chance to really get to know each other. Something tells me that in the years ahead they often looked back at this journey as the most peaceful time of their lives.
Maybe in the next couple of weeks I can have my own tranquil journey. Maybe this is the year I won’t get it all done. Maybe this is the year I’ll throw off the burden of perfection and learn to live with compromise. Maybe my own journey to Christmas will prove as “quiet” as the one traveled so many years ago. Maybe the gift awaiting me will prove as wondrous.