The tree has been undressed and dismembered, its artificial limbs and screw together trunk systematically tucked into two Rubbermaid coffins that now lie buried in the depths of our basement. The ornaments have returned to their nests in the ageing red and white cardboard box with umpteen layers of packing tape holding its sides together. Some ornaments get special treatment - tender cocoons of paper towelling cradle these precious ones that are heavy with memory and oh so fragile. Each one got to sing its story again this Christmas, but one for the last time. Brittle with age, it fell apart in my hand, a half dozen sharp peaks of impossibly thin heirloom glass. Ah well, nothing lasts forever and the old give way to the new.
The tree lights, those tiny jewels that gave me so much peace and solace in the late evening after a long day, lie powerless yet perfectly coiled and bound into compact quarters. They will no doubt while away their time in the dark writhing themselves into a frantic tangle for me to resolve some eleven months from now. All the other decorations of the season have also been returned to their resting places - all the knick-knacks and doodads, wreathes, garlands, and precious children's crafts, even the the Christmas mugs and plates - all have been exiled to the attic or basement, away from the daily scene.
It feels a little empty, a little sad, bereft. My surroundings seem so ... blah.
The seeds of the January blahs are sown in the razzle dazzle of December, the music and the memories, the stories and the smiles. It is unsustainable, all that energy, all that hurry, and perhaps somewhat artificial, unreal. And so after a month or so, the hype and hoopla machine runs out of gas and reality comes home to roost, spawning a mixed bag of resolutions to do more, do less, be more, be less.
A New Year has begun.
“Live with intention.
Walk to the edge.
Play with abandon.
Choose with no regret.
Appreciate your friends.
Continue to learn.
Do what you love.
Live as if this is all there is.”
Mary Anne Radmacher
©2014 April Hoeller