That's what R kept saying to me all day yesterday as I ran from one thing to the next. It was a long, busy, churchy day. I preached and celebrated at St. J's in the morning, had the nursing home service in the afternoon and last night it was Lessons and Carols. In between I managed to get the house decorating done. We decided less is more this year. There is a table top tree in the living room that I call my "angel tree." It's the tree I started the first year I moved to the prairie when I was feeling so alone and isolated out here. I decided I needed a little Christmas. so I went to Goodwill and bought a small tree, bedecked it white lights and scoured every store in three counties for angel ornaments. Every year since an angel or two has been added. Sometimes it's a supplementary tree, sometimes it's the main one, depending on the year. This year it is accompanied by R's tiny tree on top of the piano and my mom's ceramic one that comes out every year no matter what on the buffet. That, a bit of garland and the creche complete the decor.
We had a nice full house for Lessons and Carols. A choir of fifteen and fifty or so in the church. In our little place that counts as a big crowd! Our soloist was wonderful, and we didn't do so badly ourselves for the most part. It was fun to look across at the choristers and see my own R singing away in the bass section. Today I have tune snippets running in my head and feel a bit muzzy from a liturgical hang-over. Today holds a full slate of clients, Christmas shopping to be done over lunch and a yoga class after work. R is cooking us Indian food for dinner, so that should help my recovery.
There is something about this time of year that always makes me so nostalgic and "remember when-ish." I leaf through pages of Christmases past, thinking about where I have been and the twists and turns my life has taken. I am very content and exceedingly grateful. But it has still been hard to find something that feels like joy. I'm still running up to Christmas on about the one Ho scale. This time last year I was crazy falling in love, the year before I was crazy falling apart. This year I think I am sitting in some calm place that resembles but does not yet feel like normalcy. I look at the little angel tree twinkling away in the corner and think of that first Christmas here seven years ago. I knew that God was calling me to something new when I left the security of the only life I had really ever lived to come to this strange place alone, to be in solitude. Little did I know all it would entail! That first year I cried myself to sleep under the angel tree on Christmas night, lonely and homesick. I've traveled far since then for sure. Finding a place, finding a home, finding a love. "Surely it is God who saves me.....I will trust in God and not be afraid......."