Yesterday, the day I planned to take a holiday photo of all of my beautiful 1,000–I mean4!–children happened to also be the day that our oldest child’s face was puffed up like a balloon and covered in a terrible poison oak rash. Needless to say, that photo wasn’t an option. He is gradually getting better; and although I have been so worried since the one other time he had contact with poison oak and reacted just the same, this is surprisingly, only the second such incident. He is super sensitive to it, and now, about it. We are sticking close to home until he once again looks like himself and not some strange child I don’t know and one he keeps looking at in the mirror.
And that is just how it goes sometimes. Maybe I should have had the photo taken sooner (well, I know I should have), but the thing is, life right now is busy–so, so busy. Not busy always with things, but busy with so much life. I remember being the mother of just two small people, living in town, doing all the little motherly things right. We always had a cute and fun holiday photo, a million and one organized crafts, and time for a million and one stories on the couch. There were still toys left out at the end of the night sometimes, and sometimes dishes too, but everything was more neat and tidy, and my goodness, it was SO easy!
Nothing has really been the same since we moved to the farm, our third babe just two months old. But that ride, as fast and furious as it seems at times, has been wonderful. This busy that we are now is very much the good kind, full in the simplest sense, uncomplicated but wild.
And so this holiday season, with no family photo to share and a million and one holiday craft ideas left by the roadside in favor of the 4-5 picture books on the couch each day (and the bedtime stories…always the bedtime stories), I am so happy to find us all filled with holiday cheer and I know for a fact that this happiness stems from the one instance where trickle down theories seem to apply. The calm and simple intention of the big people in our home is all the small people in our home need to enjoy the season. This spreading of good cheer is more important than any other holiday trick I could play.
The winter solstice is fast approaching, the darkest day of the year, after which the sun will return a little more each day bringing us closer, bit by bit, to mid-winter. Then, plant growth resumes and around that time, another growing season will begin too, in the quiet space of the greenhouse. As the days grow darker, and generally colder too, we get to really embrace the light and warmth of our homes, our family, and our friends. And in turn, we get to shine our own light out on these sources of love and light in our lives: we make our homes bright, we gather together, we give.
There is a solemnity to all this, but really, the point of these winter holidays is to celebrate! To bring joy!
And so this week, the last week of “farming” for 2011, the end of another wonderful CSA and market year, our holiday wish for all of you is simple:
may your heart be light!