Christmas has come and gone leaving this heart warm and reflecting. I love Tom and the kids! They are wonderfully creative, gloriously unique. Amazing. Selected moments spent with each one have reminded me all over again just how special they are. The depth of my love for them increases. It's been a good season.
I've reconnected with my brother after months - years - of us being 'too busy' to communicate. He, like us, has had big projects lately. He thinks of me. I think of him. This week we took the time to share once again. As if we'd never been apart we picked up right where we left off. This, too, amazes me and gives me pause as I think of the nature of love. Long-lasting. Sweet. Strong.
Being knocked about by life seems to either grow mellow wisdom in a person, or it leaves them cold and hard. Lately I've been impressed with the many mellow-wise folks I am blessed to know. They inspire me, give me hope that I can age like a fine wine instead of a dried up lemon. The wisdom to listen to others, taking in what they have to communicate, no matter how haltingly the words may come. The wisdom to forgive - really forgive - in realization that we are all messed up, that we'll all say or do the wrong thing now and then. Let it go, move on, truly forgive. A twin to the wisdom of forgiveness is the allowance to change, to give each other space to grapple with life, and then to recognize resultant growth, rather than to mentally keep our fellow sojourners frozen in a time when they were, perhaps, not their best. Everyone deserves fresh consideration now and again.
Another learned wisdom, perhaps the hardest of all, is the wisdom to grow up. Not lose your youthful curiosity or fling your dreams away, no, but to become understanding, compassionate, wise from the experience of living, to reach out rather than defend, to realize consequences rather than smug self-gratification, to nourish the innate ability to be a blessing to the world rather than a curse.
I'm tempted to dismiss the hard, dried-lemon behavior of the one person this holiday season who left me perplexed, to just forget about it. And I will. I won't harbor ill feelings, but in the hope of learning something here I am pondering the reasons why. I can't fathom why a person of several decades would deliberately set about to hurt others, to disrupt Christmas with an attention grabbing, stormy display of immaturity, selfishness, and greed. Happily I am not hurt by it, just mystified, wondering why. The reasons will remain unknown, I have no doubt, but there is wisdom to glean in the missteps of another, if only to pause long enough to feel the weight of them, their unpleasantness, and then to make a personal determination to steer clear of such behavior myself. Let such unkindness not come from me. Heaven forbid! Yet, when I do falter, and I will, may I know immediate regret. Not only does this person show no remorse, but there seems to be a long-term plan in place for the destruction of others. If only this entangled soul was aware of the truth, which is so obvious to everyone else: while we remain unscathed, implosion is claiming this embittered heart. It's sad to watch.
Ah, but this emotionally enmeshed person is but one little blip on a distant shore of the Holiday scene, barely noticeable amidst the hours and days of happiness, togetherness, understanding, and a healthy family environment. No complaints!
We've even had a cleansing snow to blanket the holidays, cozying our winter scene, if only temporarily.
December 28th. Just a few days remain of 2007. It was a very good year. A busy year. A testing year. We began our home addition waaaay back in January when it was merely a bright idea. In February we began drawing up floor plans and securing financing. Many months of blur and here we are, about to insulate and sheet-rock. We should be able to move in before the onset of Spring, Lord willing.
What made 2007 a very good year? We learned that we, as a family of six, can undergo the stress of a long-term building project and come away close, respectful, even joyous. The strain only proves that our ties are strong rather than weak and easily frayed. A valuable insight.
2008 remains ahead, a dark mysterious place, to be lit one step at a time. Questions. Hopes. Dreams. Plans. They could all go out the window at any moment. So many variables, so much potential for celebration, and for sorrow.
Time will tell.
A marker arrives in a few days, a milestone which speaks to those who will listen. It speaks of what has passed. It speaks strength and renewal for what is to come. Chin up. Courage. Anticipation. Let bygones be bygones. Give it your best shot. Great expectations. Steady, slow-burning hope.
Happy New Year. May you be one who ages like fine wine, and may the disturbers of the world wander far far from you and yours!