December 1st

I find the next 100 (give or take) days challenging. The sun sets before dinner. The grass crunches beneath my boots in muted shades of yellow and brown. The temperature rarely climbs to a number I enjoy, and the sky stays blanketed in gray clouds as if the planet itself cannot find a good reason to get out of bed. Each year I try something different to combat my doldrums. Some things, like exercise, help. This year I would like to try spending the next three months on a tropical island, but since that is not possible, I am writing. Each day, I will attempt to find something positive about this season.

We turned on our outside Christmas lights this evening. I love everything about them – the sounds of the lights banging against the gutter when the wind blows, the multiple colors, and the safe, cozy warmth I feel when I look at them. Sometimes, I think the lights must hold memories. When I look at them, I feel like I am seven again excitedly watching my mom unbox a set of ceramic Christmas mice that slide onto taper candles, holding the cover of the “Sesame Street Christmas Sing-Along” album fully convinced Bert and Ernie are at that moment singing in the snow, and smelling the turkey baking when I walk through my grandparents’ front door on Christmas afternoon.

I look forward to the dark in December because the lights shining in, around, and through it hold so much beauty and give me so much joy. So, to my husband who gets on the ladder every year, to our son who helps with this crazy project, and to our daughter who endures putting up lights with minimal protest, and to all of our neighbors who add lights to their homes, thank you. Thank you for the smile on my face, and the hope in my heart.

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