Monday, December 24, 2012

It Goes Around

So much of any year is flammable,
lists of vegetables, partial poems.
Orange, swirling flame of days,
so little is a stone.

Where there was something and suddenly isn't,
an absence shouts, celebrates, leaves a space.
I begin again with the smallest of numbers.
                            from "Burning the Old Year" by Naomi Shihab Nye

I love these lines so much that I use them every year in one way or another.  The impermanence of their message has been burned in my heart and these lines have become the stone they resist.  The new year is creeping up and as I am sure it does for many, it spooks me when see it on the horizon.

This year has been full, cumbersome and full, and I would be remiss if I let it pass without recounting how it tumbled through. I turned thirty, Andrew got a new job and left an old job. We worked insane hours and carved out as much time as possible for each other and now, as we approach five years of marriage and a little over seven years together, I can say we might be happier together than in the beginning, when for a few days I thought my heart might explode from how much I liked him.

Yesterday we sat around a table of family and ate soup and six varieties of grilled cheese, and later through my fontina and white cheddar coma, I sat in a warm room filled with tiny white lights and I felt full in a way that food alone cannot manage.

We went to bed in clean, warm flannel sheets and I woke up this morning just as Andrew's keys jingled him out the door.  A short walk and I am in the cafe, my home away from home, and though I can see glimpses of sun on the horizon, it it still a beautiful dark blue outside, leaving the bulbs in lamps and strands to reflect in layers off the window next to me and suddenly I am sitting in a sea of glass ablaze with white light.

Tonight we'll make pizza (I'm thinking asparagus with pan seared pork and dry salami with feta), play games, and don flannel jammies.  I am bound to the house for a bit today waiting for the last of the Christmas gifts with the rest purchased locally and wrapped with paper I love so much that I might be that girl who smoothes out bits in the aftermath and saves it for next year.

For now, I will putter my way home and then putter my way around the house and maybe, just maybe, I will work on a few more holiday cards, and maybe, just maybe, I will send some of them out before Valentine's Day.  And for today, just like every day, I will think about those who are far from us, and appreciate those who are near, and just before bed I will remind myself to be thankful for what's yet to come.