One minute they were here. The next minute they were gone.
The last few days were full, not only with smells of turkey and stuffing and other good food, but, more importantly, with the sounds of laughter. Giggles, guffaws, chuckles. The eight of us, our son and daughter-in-love and our daughter and son-in-love and the two grands, huddled in our little house, as if around a campfire, and at other times traveled in our own wolf pack from one brew pub to another. How good it was to have several days of rich family time.
And now it was quiet. Quiet with a capital Q. I stood at the kitchen window and heard the echoes of the love and joy of the last few days. I wandered from room to room, feeling the spirit of the previous days, and giving thanks for the gift of a warm and loving family.
My plan was to defrock the house of its Thanksgiving finery, to do the laundry and change the guest bed, to clean the oven, and the two bathrooms, and to get out the bins of Christmas decorations and begin the transformation from one season to the next. Talk about unrealistic expectations!
What I needed was a time-out. My not as young as it used to be body needed some time to rest, and my heart needed time to savor the days past. Intentional time before zooming into The Next Big Thing, which, in this case is Advent and Christmas.
Therefore, I claimed the chaise in the lower level as my afternoon nesting spot. I grabbed my current book, and I read and read and read with a little snooze between chapters fifteen and sixteen and then I read some more, all the way to the end of the book. I can't recall the last time I have allowed myself an entire afternoon to read purely for pleasure. I should add that I did manage to at least do the five loads of laundry and remake the guest bed, but those were more moments to stretch than moments to be industrious and tick items off my list.
The main thing was to honor what my heart and my body most needed. In that way, I think, I honored the sacredness of the recent days, and opened to the gifts of the coming days. A day of grace.
When did you last pause and give yourself what you most needed? I would love to know.
NOTE: The book I read on my afternoon of restoration was a magnificent novel, Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger. We were not living here when our couples' book group read it, and it has remained one of their top reads. Now I know why. I highly recommend it. http://www.williamkentkrueger.com/ordinarygrace.html