I don’t know when we’ve had such a mild winter. It was a little cold at the beginning of December but above freezing since with a few odd dips below. You would think, with weather as warm as it has been, that the winter blues wouldn’t have hit very hard this year – unfortunately they socked me in the face and swiped my feet out from under me, beating me up worse than usual and wrenching my Christmas spirit from my grasping hands. I wonder if age has a factor in it. Not that I’m in my dotage, but I’m also not a spring chicken anymore. In fact, I didn’t really get into the swing of things until Christmas Day when I arrived at my parent’s place and had a good conversation with Mom and hugged my brothers and sister-in-laws and most of the nephews and one niece and teased Dad about being old (he isn’t really, only 60, but it’s fun to mention it many, many times during an evening).
Despite the doldrums, I did manage to set up an advent calendar for the boys. No daily activities this time, which in hindsight was rather prescient given my general mood during season. I went simple and used paper bags with stenciled numbers and placed them conveniently on my large bookshelf.
There was a plan to make them prettier. Holes punched in the top fold and then tied with festive ribbons. The bags hanging on a string like a banner in the archway between the living room and dining room. All sorts of things like that. After number 17 with midnight on November 30th looming, all the artsy craftsy ideas got scrapped and “good enough” became the mantra. Not like the boys care what’s on the outside anyway, right?
Now that January is here, I’m feeling better. More optimistic. The days are getting seconds longer each day. It helps. I’ve been reading this poem every morning that helps keep my mood lighter and more grateful. It is by W. H. Davies (I always want to say W. H. Auden. Is that even a poet?) and it is titled A Greeting.
Good-morning, Life – and all
Things glad and beautiful.
My pockets nothing hold,
But he that owns the gold,
The Sun, is my great friend -
His spending has no end.
The first time I read it, my mind changed Sun to Son and it took a few days before I realized my error. Now, whenever I say it to myself, I mean both things. Isn’t it wonderful that I don’t need anyone’s permission to do that? Davies has given this to the world and left it there for us to find inspiration in it even if he didn’t intend for dual interpretations. It makes me love life.