Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas time

There was a tree, with lights and ornaments.
There were stockings hung and filled.
There were delicious treats and delicious drinks.
There were presents wrapped under the tree.
There was snow.

But it was no ordinary Christmas. The same things that we do every year were different. There was magic in our house this Christmas.

Until this year-love for the holiday was diminishing fast. It feels rushed. It feels too commercial. There is not as much family around. There is more traveling-to further distances. The magic and excitement just isn't there. Much like birthdays don't feel as special as they once did. (Although we still celebrate like they do feel just as special)

But when Christmas morning came this year it felt twinkly. Time was suspended.   As we sat in front of the tree with our stockings taking turns opening our gifts-the magic was back. As we ate our delicious food and drank our drinks-the magic was back. As we watching Christmas movies-the magic was back. All the way until is time for bed and 'I don't want Christmas to be over' -the magic was back.

It's the posse.

It's not Santa. Or his reindeer. Or the holiness of celebrating the Divine come to BE with us in our mess. Or the songs. Or the decorations.

It's the posse.

Not fully understanding what Santa is or isn't or what he does or doesn't do…and not really understanding why someone being born who we can't see is important. Or what any of the decorations and parties and food and songs really mean.

All they know is something is happening….something exciting is happening. Their wonder at the mystery is what brought the magic back.

What a gift to see the holidays through their eyes. Eyes that wonder over the decorations and what is going to happen next. And senses that have never tasted a candy cane or smelled an evergreen (inside their house) or heard Christmas songs (in a way they could remember). MERRY CHRISTMAS! (a few days late)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Side work.

Tuesday mornings come early. Hours before the sun early.

Most of the night is spent in a fitful state, startling awake sure that I'm late, only to find I can sleep for three more hours. But I only doze for 30 more minutes before startling awake again.

This Tuesday when I awoke for the final time I found snow. And the warmest temperature of the day. 21.

I bundled myself up and headed out in the dark. Into the snow. Into the quiet. Into the stillness. My footprints the only mark on the fresh powder that was still falling. Nearing Main Street little tracks popped up-seemingly out of nowhere-and then disappeared again. The cat was nowhere to be seen.

Opening the door a rush of warmth hits me, hugs me, welcomes me to my side job.

My day job, of course, is attempting to raise humans to be kind, intelligent, productive members of society who love well and think well.

But this, this, is something else. This is giving a hundred little gifts a day. 'Here's your 12 oz. skinny quad shot caramel delicious-wake-you-up-in-the-morning-treat' They smile, they smell it, they sip it and happiness spreads through their face and their bodies.

The regulars come in. They stay and talk about the weather, their jobs, their families, their holiday plans. And we become friends.

But it's strange because these are not natural friendships, outside of this place which brings people together united under the search for one thing (good coffee), these friendships wouldn't exist. The young, the old, the middle aged, the stern, the crazy, the put together, and the chaotic. And me. Watching it all unfold. Taking part in this story of how we are not all that different. This place bends the rules. I can joke around with a cop in uniform in this story. Or gluten-free cooking with a retired RN. I can bring my posse in and introduce them to regulars who are genuinely interested in meeting these little people.

And while my posse is full of riveting conversation about princesses and Spider-man, I enjoy these conversations too. Conversations that remind me that I had my own parents who taught me to love and think. (Occasionally I do these things well).

And when I come home to my day job, to my posse, my heart is a little fuller for having had the absence.