This is the new year

It is the fourth day of the new year. I am sitting in my favorite blue chair with a book in my hands. Actually, there are more than a dozen books here--on my lap, on the footrest, on the side table, in the basket next to my chair, in a pile on the floor in front of me. It seems that January has brought with it new interests and a more active patronage of my local library.

The side table also holds a lit candle and a cup of tea, still too hot to drink. I've chosen the mug with a penguin on it, dressed in earmuffs and a scarf. It feels bright and cheerful, which is exactly why I pulled it from the bottom shelf in the cupboard this afternoon.

From my perch I can see snowflakes drifting past the window. The house across the street is white and so is the sky--it's all I can see from here, so the flakes are actually somewhat difficult to make out. But when I twist around to look out the glass door in the kitchen I can see them much more clearly. They dance in the yard and settle onto the railing of the deck. The whole world feels closer, like a blanket wrapped tight. That and the candle--and the quiet of afternoon naptime for the toddler--create a feeling of peace that I relax into gratefully.

These quiet, slow moments are my favorite part of this present season. Not just winter, but the season of recovery and renewal I feel I am in. For the first time, the dawning of a new year didn't feel like the release of a starting gate in a race. Instead, it feels like the slow turning of a page in a book. It's not the start of something completely new, but rather the beginning of the next chapter, the continuation of the story. And these moments of stillness feel like hugs from heaven after the turmoil of the fall--the healing before whatever comes next.

Every piece of the story is necessary, I know that. I cannot just shut a door and go start over somewhere else, despite what it seems the world would have me believe. What has happened is forever a part of who I am, wherever I go from here. Once that might have felt harsh, but in the stillness of this snowy afternoon it feels instead like a gift. Not one I wanted or expected, but one that will make me over in a way that is more beautiful than would otherwise have been possible. And accepting that gift brings peace.

So for now I will watch the snow come down. I will sip my tea and turn the pages of my books and just let the beginning unfold. I won't rush about defining a direction I can't control anyway. I will be still and know that He is God and He holds me close.

1 comment :

  1. This post is beautiful. I need to take more time to appreciate the quiet moments around me and to soak in all of the small details.