Scribbling on the digital page because I am too tuckered out to get up and get the paper one. So you are all my notebook for tonight. That’s good because there are good things to say.
There are many things, sure, embedded in my heart that are yet to come to fruition. But with or without them, I’m dumbfounded by my blessings from where I stand. For some reason God brought to mind while preparing for bed a moment ago, the unsettled anxiousness of a life 20 years ago, lived by a twenty-something, filled with opportunity, relationship, career, the crossroads of the world, and yet frustrated, distracted, disoriented. Not too bad for a kid in their 20s and I’ve always been essentially grateful but I think “unaware” is the word. Unaware of the rarity and fleetingness of what I had. This occurred to me tonight in a very different life, still so blessed but with other things, and I noticed how much I’ve learned to count and keep those blessings. Everything I’ve been given is treasure. That, I’ve always known. What I’m learning now is how these Treasures are enough. No, not enough… they are plenty.
My little home of grays and greens and blues packed sensibly with sentimentals, tidy and adorned with an ambivalent bunny (accurately coined by my father) is only miles away from where I lay in my family’s home, and I have the key. I’m reading stories of hundreds who would give anything for just a room after losing everything in a day, and having so little resource to regain footing. Folks who were struggling before the fire. Disabled, multiple pets, children, welfare, FEMA denied. Not only do I have more than I need even in my tiny 700 square feet but I’m burdened by my inability to put a roof over the head of those without one, and now in the rain on a holiday.
I’m under three blankets with three more available at the foot of the bed, one electric and nicknamed “the deadly blanket of lethargy.” My mother provided 6 blankets like I’m bedding down in the tundra. They would do so much more good in the pup tents of the Walmart parking lot outside of Chico. I’m burdened that I don’t have a hundred to pass out; I’m densely aware that I have an embarrassment of woolen riches about me.
I have been fed, today, a feast. A feast of family fare, by a family present to cook and dish and talk about them. How well the cranberry salad set. The sweet potato casserole that bubbled and browned without burning. The Pioneer Woman’s green beans with bacon and stewed tomatoes that would be enough could I only choose one food to pack in my covered wagon. A massive $10 turkey encased in browned buttered spices and filled with a garden of greens. And I know everyone says their family’s customized stuffing recipe is the best but ours is really is. No really. It’s the sausage. Or the sage. But I’d put it up against your mama’s anyday.
Though under the weather a bit this holiday, only barely, I slept accidentally between parents, the undisturbed sleep of an only child. Waking to empty glasses and empty pie plates and a football game like a tonic of pure Thanksgiving pouring in.
This doesn’t count the superficials. The parade and favorite dog show that landed anticlimacticly on whippet this year. Trading YouTube links of jazz tracks from Melody Gardot to Leonard Cohen. We learned that Dance Me to The end of Love is nearly indistinguishable from Amour, Dans et Violon, and Tobymac’s new track can pretty much be laid right over early 80s El DeBarge.
My mother made a pie and and texted this morning when I woke in my own home nearby (still a wonder after 25 years long distance), that the pastry leaves were “snow-covered.” The sugar glistened. So I roused from bed and came over the river and through the woods with a vanilla cardamom latte and a black tea and and opened the door the very moment the NYPD rolled through Herald Square. There was a cake buried under sugared cranberries and wreathed in Rosemary. Diana Ross singing Christmas songs. The patio door open and it was raining on wild jack rabbits. Norman Rockwell couldn’t do it justice
I am Ebenezer without a lesson to learn. With full knowledge from Act 1 of the grandness of the goose we should run to buy (for $10 from Walmart but so grand), the value of memories intensely UNforgotten, the urgency of giving, and the presence and power of Love.
Bundled in the dark with wind audibly whipping and an unshakable concern for those in a close radius whose only home is a dome of vinyl, my soul is a set of thrown-open shutters where an enlightened Scrooge still has time to stand eagerly and exclaim, it’s Christmas morning, or Thanksgiving night, or this day that the Lord has made. (“Look what it is outside!”) It’s here where I am, where my father picked blazing orange Japanese Maple twigs and I picked the seeds from them to keep and grow; where my mother texted me from 20 yards and three walls away that Please Don’t Eat the Daisies is on TCM and I changed the channel to watch it “too.” Right now, with Doris Day singing, “anyway the wind blows, goes love” I am ridiculously thankful. I am content like Paul with little or much, or considering little very much, and like this little bowl of seeds with their humpbacked propellers built to carry them forward, ready to catch the wind and fly. They might grow a maple, they might land and blow away like chaff. But they are a bowl of something to happen.
Wherever we blow, wherever we land, “ups, downs, ins, outs, highs, lows, any way the wind blows, any way the wind blows…goes love.”
Wherever you go and whatever you do, you will be blessed. Deuteronomy 28:6
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” Zephaniah 3:17