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A Quiet Home on Christmas...

It is 6 am and I have been up for a little over an hour.  This is not an unusual thing on this day.  Christmas mornings have long held an early waking.  But the purposes have greatly changed.  I used to be up before the crack of dawn to attempt to rise before my kids.  My son always being the first one up, so excited about the events of the day.  His little voice and smile.  The excitement in his voice.  The unbridled enthusiasm for all that Christmas brings.

My daughter has always loved her sleep.  So he was usually the one to wake her up and although it took her a moment, she joined in with enthusiasm.  

But that was years ago.  Today my son is far away and on his own.  He will spend the day alone.  And that breaks my heart in so many different ways.

My daughter is here and snoring next to me.  I am grateful.  I just really needed her to be here this morning when I woke up.  

I was walking home from the gym last night and realized that her being gone (she is housesitting for a few days) is the rapidly coming new normal.  She is going to leave home in short order and it will just be me and the animals.  This thought almost broke me yesterday.  I mean I knew the day would come, of course it would, but I didn’t see it coming so soon.

Motherhood is like that I guess. So many things you don’t see coming even when you see them coming.  It is this awesome journey, the base lesson, the repeated lesson, is how to love just as much, if not more with every passing moment, while letting go more and more with each passing year.  It is fucking brutal if I am honest.

This morning I miss the Christmas’ mornings of years past.  Where I was up until after midnight wrapping and putting things together so that when they woke up they would be amazed, dazzled and know how very much they are loved.  

I still wrapped but since the things they want are more expensive, there are less things to wrap and nothing to put together anymore.

And while there is this part of me that greatly misses those other Christmas mornings, I am content with the one that is here today.  It is a quiet home.  All the beings still sleeping except for me.  I sit in bed with purring cats all around, cuddling  and sipping my coffee.  Tapping out my emotional existence in some effort to preserve my sanity.  This is therapy for me, this writing.  This daily commitment to the cause of my own existence. 

And I recognize that there was no time for sipping coffee and writing and being still and calm and quiet in those other years.  There was so much to do and so little time to do it in.  But today, there is no one driving this morning’s start except me.  My daughter will sleep until noon if I let her...and I will not let her.

This morning in my quiet home with no one stirring, I will wake her early and we will head into the mountains to touch base with the only God I have ever believed in, Mother Nature.  I need it and so does she.  Our new tradition is to escape the consumerism, the stuff and head out to the places where the unadorned, wild world seems decorated and plush just in very different ways.

My parents will come for brunch later today.  And we will feast and open presents.  And Christmas will feel more like Christmases of years past. But in this moment right now, it feels oddly familiar and also completely new.

My cat bathes himself next to me, contented and purring.  And I love that I have provided a home that is safe, warm, inviting and calm.  Where small orange cats feel completely safe and present.  And I realize that I too, perhaps, feel this way.  I feel safe and warm and present.  And I realize what a gift that truly is.

Soon we will face the cold and walk the mountain side with vigor, our reward a long hot soak in the springs.  But for now, in this moment, we all sit idle, allowing the beauty of Christmas morning to just tiny paw prints across our souls.

And so I come to love the quiet home, the stillness and serenity I find here.  And it helps to ease the ache of my longing for people no longer here, people I still dearly love but am not currently in contact with, and all my ideas that reality should be something other than what it currently is.

I am grateful for my past Christmases.  But I am also grateful for this one. This quiet home morning where the only one awake and musing is me.

Merry Christmas one and all. May you find yourself, your best self, in the happenings of this day. And may you have yourself a Merry little Christmas now...

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