All I want are the Holly and Ivy Christmas card scenes without the family dramas. I want to ice skate on frozen ponds wearing fur-lined parkas, and sit around Norman Rockwell’s table, diving into a turkey or a ham.
I don’t want to do the dishes.
I don’t want to clean the house days before or after an event.
I don’t want that phone call from my mother who gushes about my sister and her kids. Why don’t I have kids, is the question silently lurking behind the cheerful voice. I just want my snow. I want my Christmas music. I want romantic walks with my husband. I want to go to parties without a fuss, or change my mind, and not attend a family function.
Don’t you often feel this way?
It’s days before Christmas and I am already behind. I haven’t baked yummy platters of stuff for the neighbors or my co-workers. The snow that fell barely dusted the pine trees, but immediately melted the moment it touched the ground. My friend has taken a picture of the forest and has used her graphic skills to add snow to the picture. This is her expression of, “I wish it would snow.”
And I mean, really snow! The kind of snow where businesses shut down and schools get snow days.
So I go out for a walk to shake off my bad mood. S.M. is at work. I am alone with my thoughts. I walk down the street and take the narrow dirt path that everyone knows leads to the forest. It runs right between Brown’s home and the house S.M. calls, “the one with the weird lady in it.” That’s when I saw it peeking between the branches of a scraggily scrub oak–a doe.
I stop and slow my breathing. The doe’s ears twitch, but she is watching me. A moment later she moves away, and runs as I begin walking again. The air is crisp and my cheeks feel icy. But I breath in the wonder of the forest and of seeing the doe.
“Thank you, Lord.”
Now I am in the Christmas mood again. You have to know when to take mental breaks. Family means well. They love us, but they can drive us crazy, too. Holly and Ivy and Norman Rockwell still paint an ideal, if unrealistic, picture, but I can pretend, for just a moment, that it can happen.
Please, Lord, Let it snow!