Last December was our first winter in this land of wintry oppression, known to the greater United States of America as Minnesota. At this time last year, we were already six weeks buried under countless feet of snow. I think six weeks is the perfect length for winter, incase anyone wanted to take note of that this time around, ahem. I was also supremely large with child, only eight weeks to go, eager and anxious. The day after Christmas our car died and we were carless for two months. Matt was still working two jobs (still is) and relying on the bus system, which took extra hours away from us and meant he faced frigid and inhumane temperatures. And our new baby cried for the first four months of her life. It was a long winter, literally and figuratively.
Today, I look outside my window and only a light dusting of the second snowfall remains cast upon the brown earth. On most days, I feel like I’ve got a handle on this whole two kids gig, at least 85% of the day. We’ve implemented a system that includes me leaving the house one afternoon a week all by myself. No errands, no demands, just a few hours of remembering what it was like to sit in a coffee shop at leisure. My husband gets an afternoon too, because he needs that time just as much as I do. It’s the best thing we ever done. Every night, I’m free writing (morning pages as known in The Artist’s Way). It’s a season of abundant creativity and I’m so thankful. On a regular basis, I have tea with a friend and the most encouraging and inspiring conversations, while our kids play. We started a small business this year, and we just completed our first custom family Christmas card. We’re getting to be part of helping friends grow their families. We’re investing in a dream that no longer seems far away, as we hold a large stack of printed cards in our hand. On the back, our own names where you’d usually find another. We’re seeing provisions come in the most unexpected ways. Last night, we stood in the kitchen at a very late, sleepy hour and acknowledged this first major milestone with Furthermore Creative. And today, when I paid the last bills of the month, I didn’t grimace or sigh. There was enough. Because, he is enough.
I’m knitting a stocking for my baby girl, it will be her first Christmas and my first knit stocking. Today, during her nap, we strung popcorn on a thread to hang on the tree. Mostly, my helper ate the popcorn and sipped hot cocoa, heavy on the marshmallows. And tonight, the evening is ours. We’ll tuck our babies into bed at a ridiculously early hour (because it’s already dark and we love them and our time alone) and catch up on our favorite Thursday shows, that we always watch on Friday nights, by the light of the fire and this week, the peaceful glow of that silly little tree in the corner.
I think of the words, “All is calm, all is bright.” and I wonder if the calm is more than a description of the manager scene. Is it also an offering of thanksgiving, a story of peace and contentment, an acknowledgement of love and hope? I think, maybe yes.
All is calm. All is bright.