Outside my window I see the lights of the houses below us and a dark sky above. Night falls earlier and earlier these days as the winter solstice approaches. I am thankful for light and warmth, and can't help but think of those who suffer in cold and darkness under the attacks of evil men. I pray for them and admire their courage.
Some of my favourite memories emerge along with the ornaments and decorations pulled from the Christmas boxes. Last night we put up our tree, and for the first time in many years, a child helped hang the sparkly stars and bells. Her parents were at a work party and she spent the night with us. She was surprised at how many of our ornaments were the same as the ones hanging on her tree. So I told her of my tradition of giving an ornament to my children each year, ornaments that they took with them into their grown-up homes. I often bought or made an ornament for ourselves, too. Those ornaments bring joy to my heart and I remember where each one came from.
I am smelling the pumpkin soup that I pulled from the freezer for an easy supper this evening. We had friends over for breakfast and cooking one big meal a day is enough for me!
Christmas preparations are coming along at a gentle pace. I feel peaceful and calm, most of the time, and am reveling in these days of quiet. I should clarify that not all moment are gentle and quiet - no indeed - life continues with its frustrations and unexpected happenings.
Small, creative activities are bringing me a lot of pleasure. Often, those are the things that get scratched from my list because I think I should be doing something different, more useful perhaps. I baked sugar cookie stars a few weeks ago for the grands to decorate some of them. I was inspired by Shayda Campbell to try painting some simple designs with food colouring on them. What fun I had. I stuck with green and painted trees and leaves in various designs. Some are more successful than others.
I am reading Bess Streeter Aldrich's Journey into Christmas on the recommendation of blogging friend Dewena. The book is a collection of short stories written before I was born - gentle tales of Christmas past.
Baking is high on my list for this coming week - Christmas favourites from years ago like shortbread, rugelach, and peppermint bars. I have a few new recipes I'd like to try, as well.
Wishing you a week filled with gentle moments in the midst of busy days, moments that carry you through when things don't go as planned.