I knew Friday when I left work, that this weekend would again be one with little activity. Rest and relaxation were the only two things on my menu for the weekend. Saturday, I watched as the sun rose over the mountains and settled myself in front of the wood stove for the day, with my blanket, my art supplies and journal. Robby had left early to go hunting so I had the house to myself for the morning hours.
I love the early morning and the time I have to reflect on life. Something about being in a quiet house, the world just waking up and the animals outside beginning to stir, is so comforting to me.
Sunlight streaming through my kitchen window.
Ever since my mom died, these last 3 months of the year are more difficult for me. Finding joy in the Holidays is a struggle, being bothered to prepare for the Holidays is almost paralyzing. Not being at my best both physically and mentally, doesn't make it any easier to cope. But I try to think of my mom and how much she LOVED the Holidays. Even with all the work she had to do to prepare, when we were all younger, and then later trying to figure out how we would all somehow spend time together, when we all had our own families and lives going on, she decorated, baked, cooked and celebrated the joy that Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas brought. Even on the morning of the day she died, she told my dad that after his dialysis treatment was over, they must go get candy to hand out to the handful of kids that would show up at their door that Halloween night. This year my dad went overboard and bought much more candy than would ever be handed out to the 6 kids that might come by, but he bought the candy. He has taken over where mom left off. He knew she would have wanted it that way.
So, as I struggle to make it through these last few months of the year, I am trying to see the beauty again in the simple and small things. Not just the obvious beauty of the living, but also the beauty in objects whose prime has passed. The rose hips left behind from blooming roses, the dried plumes of my ornamental grasses and the dried leaves which have fallen from the trees. There is beauty everywhere and a reason to celebrate life, even in death. I know my mom would not want for me to continue to mourn her. She wouldn't want to know that for at least 3 months of the year, I slip into a dark place that is hard for me to work my way out of. But I take the time to work my way out, and with camera in hand, I see the beauty that mom would see too.
And while this weekend was a weekend of the three R's....rest, relaxation and reflection. I leave you with one of my favorite poems by Mary Oliver.
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert,
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.