Here is what we do in 2013:
Some of us cough, sneeze and blow our noses.
We fill the wood room. It’s cold outside, brisk, sharp, face-freezing cold. We’re lucky to have a visiting daughter to help us fill our wood room. We shovel off snow from the top of the wood pile and carry logs, two by two, or three by three, into Barry’s waiting arms in the wood room. He stacks them in a big pile and tells us jokes as we deliver the wood. He rejects the moldy wood and we toss it into the forest. Our breath blows misty halos. We will continue this tomorrow.
We watch endless movies during these holiday breaks. We watch violence and chick-flicks. We watch Snow White and the Huntsmen. We all–even Barry, who never ever would admit this before–like the little fairies who lead Snow White to the magic creature just outside the Evil Woods who bows his majestic antlers to Snow White, recognizing Who She Is.
Who knows what we’ll watch tonight?
We’ll eat Jambalaya first. Healthy Jambalaya. I’m pressure cooking rice now. Pttttttttt goes the pressure cooker. Loudly. The brown rice cooks for ten minutes, then sits patiently, softening up, for an hour. I’ll add tomatoes and green pepper and garlic and onions and vegan sausages and shrimp and who-knows-what-else.
Focaccia bread dough also rises next to the heating vents. We’ll dine on rosemary focaccia along with our spicy Jambalaya.
Are you reciting New Year’s resolutions? I am not. Yet, deep within my heart, I am silently attempting to turn in the direction of the deepest longing. It is a longing deeper than words, deeper than resolutions, deeper than what thoughts can wish.
I’ve been sleeping down, down in the basement in Christopher’s bedroom these past five or six days. Away from the sneezing, coughing Ones. I bring the cell phone down the spiral stairway tiptoeing past the woodstove into the chilly bedroom and opening the heating vent to warm the closed-up room.
We don’t get predictable cell phone coverage here in the woods, but I press the cell phone light in the middle of the night to guide the way back upstairs, or to check the time.
Near 1 or 2 a.m. last night the cell phone sang a texting song.
It was my brother from 550 miles south.
“Happy New Year, Sissy!” he texted.
I felt so much love zinging from that cell phone.
One of the previous nights–the first night I slept in Christopher’s bed–I lay there and thought, “Tomorrow I should tell Chris I’m sleeping down in his room.” Within five minutes of that thought, the cell phone texted! It was our son, far far away in San Diego, who had texted a Merry Christmas two days ago on Christmas Day. We had not received the text, because our cell was off, and because we do not get reliable service in the woods.
But, two minutes after settling in his bed, and thinking about our #1 child, the cell phone texted his message.
Life can be miraculous.
I wish you a miraculous 2013. Not miraculous because Big and Bold and Wonderful things happen (although they may). I wish you a miraculous 2013 because you’ll realize the amazing nature of small things, simple acts, little smiles, gifts of the present moment.
I wish that you realize the desire of your deepest heart. How I wish that–for all of us.