Tuesday, December 27, 2022

The Between Days

Here we are again, poised at the heart of the liminal interlude bookended every year by the Winter Solstice and the shiny new year only a few days away. These winter days are a precious (and much needed) breathing spell between the two holidays, and I like to think of them as the "between days". It seems as though 2022 just got here, but we are bidding it farewell and contemplating 2023 with all its unknown possibilities, adventures, trials and ordeals. A few more adventures next year, and fewer ordeals, please.

Holiday shopping (what little there was of it) was wrapped up and tucked under the little tree in good time this year. A thousand and one cookies were made, and tins of baking were delivered around the village. I spent a lovely quiet afternoon with dear friends on December 24th, then enjoyed feasting and merriment with family members on Christmas Day. The luscious leftovers were parceled up and sent home with dinner guests, the opening gambit in my usual Boxing Day doings. Gift bags, ribbons and wrapping have already been folded and put away for another time, and the silken rustle of the tissue as it was smoothed and pleated into neat squares was pleasing to the ear.

Now there is stillness in the little blue house, and after days of toing and froing, there is time for rest and reflection. Who knows what Beau and I will be doing on New Year's eve? With COVID numbers on the rise again, there is a fair possibility that we will be home by ourselves and safely sequestered with candles, cider and gingerbread.

I made a lovely big pot of Bigelow's Constant Comment tea this morning, and the kitchen was filled with the fragrance of oranges and sweet spice. Snow sparkled through the south facing window, and the kitchen was filled with silvery dancing light. As we leaned against the counter and waited for the kettle to sing, it seemed to Beau and I that the best part of the holiday this year was the clamor and bustle in the kitchen as festive meals came together. There was laughter and camaraderie around the old oak table when food was put out and endless cups of tea afterward, an eloquent silence in the garden at nightfall as light snow fell and everyone went home. We thought of my departed soulmate (the boys' beloved papa), and we sent him our love. Blessed be.

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