My mind wanders this morning to my mother, whose birthday anniversary it is today, and to my daughter who will be bringing home two additions to her family before day is through. My heart swells with the thoughts of both of them.
But I'm also beginning to feel the now insistent tug of the approaching holiday season, trying to fix in my heart just what Christmas means to me at this time of my life. What beliefs I still hold about the 25th of December and thoughts of a new year on the horizon.
As has been my custom since long before I was married, I will be making my greeting cards again this year, and today's goal is to decide on a design. I have been collecting the "stuff" needed for years and years, and can't begin to remember each and every stencil, rubber stamp, or punch I own. I have saved some of my old cards as sample designs and feel some anger at myself for not saving one from each year. I hunted today for one I remember seeing recently, a silk screen print of the Chicago skyline with the tall Ls of alleluia strategically placed in the tall buildings against the night sky, but couldn't find it here at the farm. Perhaps it's filed at the city house??
I should let go of how my card will be received and focus instead on what I want it to bring of me to the receiver. Not an easy task. Settling for an idea has always been the hardest part of my creating. I'm listening to holiday melodies on iTunes, and looking out at the soft dusting of snow outside my window, flurries in the air. Yesterday I nearly finished decorating the farmhouse and it looks quite festive. I've got a few lovely candles lit now and have spread my tools across the table. The box of cards from former years is out as well.
The card below was our greeting 33 years ago when Phil was a babe in arms and we were worshiping at our new church where Jerome had been appointed director of music just months before. Only yesterday he and I were talking about how special attending that church was for us in those beginning years.
It's just a simple line drawing of our family. Jerome had not yet grown the beard he has worn for over 30 years and he was still an avid pipe smoker. It was a time when everything seemed clear and easy for me. How has life gotten so complicated??
Now you can see how I get so sidetracked from settling down and getting the job done. A simple task of creating holiday cards has turned into a stroll through memories and the morning is gone.
I will eat some warm lunch and strive again to begin.
Don't forget to put out your shoes tonight for St. Nick and look tomorrow for word from Anne about "the boys" and from me regarding the card situation.
And as you go about this week so near the holiday mayhem, be purposeful and peaceful.