And it's not from being overwhelmed by a to-do list as long as my arm. The gatherings are not here this year but will be at Lily's both tonight and tomorrow morning. So I don't have to clean or make pretty. I don't have to remember the infinite number of details like ice and drinks and paper plates and clean-up that porch! I don't have to cut flowers and put them in vases or string lights or make sure there are enough places for people to sit and tonight I won't have to put together toys after a party or fill stockings either.
I have wrapped everything I need to wrap. I simply have to make chicken salad and bake a ham and get over to Lily's tonight with those and the presents and the fruitcake.
And yet, I woke up this morning wondering how long I'll be living, what horrors await me in whatever time that may be, despairing of ever enjoying anything again in my life.
And this cannot be normal. I have no reason to think I'm dying, I have a beautiful family who will come together tonight and a grandson who is vibrating with the excitement of it all and another who can't get or give enough kisses just because he's alive and he loves and it should all be so sweet and so good and I'm on the verge of tears and there is no other explanation except that I hate Christmas and somewhere, somehow, it was ruined for me or I ruined it somehow and there you go.
Get through it. I have to get through it all and pay attention because there will be remarkably beautiful moments and it would be a sin to miss them, to not acknowledge them.
It rained all day yesterday and today is clear and it is cold and getting colder. It will be in the twenties tonight. We had the boys all day yesterday and Mr. Moon did the brunt of the childcare. Gibson won't let his grandfather get farther than arm's reach. He adores and worships him. There was painting, there was coloring, there was couch and bed-fishing. There was a movie and Sponge Bob. There was block-building and there was fancy dancing. There was supper and Owen set the table for me, spreading each napkin out at each place with the knife and fork set nicely upon. He carried water glasses and plates and salad bowls and pepper and hot sauce to the table. I read an article in the New Yorker by Michael Pollan which absolutely blew my mind entitled "The Intelligence of Plants."
See? I am paying attention. I am being grateful and I am capable of wonder. I am surrounded by trees so old and dignified that I have no doubt they have an intelligence of their own and one that surpasses mine in ways I cannot imagine. Entire eco-systems live within them and around them and I am just a small part of it all.
Sometimes that is all enough.
Sometimes it's just a fact.
It is Christmas Eve. Babies are being born everywhere in the world in hospitals and homes and maybe even in a stable. Each one of them is as Holy as any other and the stars shine cold above, even if we cannot see them.
That is my Christmas Eve statement.
And I would wish us all peace.