Christmas came and went in a fast flurry of sparkle and shine. The kids were all home and once again we had twenty-eight paws in the house. There were our three dogs, Pippi, Oscar and Violet plus Sadie the Bengal Cat. Hannah brought Lulu Bunny and now too comes Elsie the Great Dane puppy. Benjamin was here as he often is with his Italian Spinone Olive.
One of my best memories from this holiday season came on Christmas night. Hannah and Dan had left for Christmas goose with his folks and Lulu stayed behind with us. John and I took Oscar up to Hannah’s old room where she and Dan make camp and sat with mugs of piping hot tea to spend some time with the Buns. We brought her carrots and Oscar. Now Oscar is a Wheaten Terrier but he forgets his ancestry around Lulu. He dearly loves that bunny. He sat in rapt attention as she put on her bunny show jumping and twirling in between nibbles on the carrot. She would hop over to him and they would touch noses and then, whoosh, up in the air like a Rudolph cartoon she would twirl and dance. It was an hour and a half long show with a blue twilight snow outside the window where I sat with the man I love best and these furry creatures we share our lives with. I will remember it forever.
You never know when the best memories will come. This was a little moment filled with the biggest sweetest love. You plan for these of course. You make soft sugary foods and big complicated meals. You light candles and build fires and sit around the tree and hope memories will get made. And lots of times they do. You aim for fun and sometimes in a silly game of backgammon or a bunny parade you get it. But the thing is planning is just not enough. You also have to stay open and ready for it to get good. Because sometimes the parties are boring and the food gets burned. Sometimes we get mad over stupid stuff like why no one is offering to shovel instead of just asking for help. Then the mood is shot and you can’t get it back. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. The trick I think is remembering to stop and pay attention when it comes. Settling into it instead of racing onto the next event and missing the good stuff that’s happening here, right now, in this tucked away bedroom on the floor by the window. We had two days of cozy fires and book reading with leftover glitter on the rug. No one planned those but they came all the same.
Happy New Year Everyone. I wish us all lots of joy this year and may we all have the good sense to pay attention when it comes. And may there also be only little manageable sadnesses that will add focus and color to the joyful bits whenever and wherever they pop up.