Thursday, December 21, 2006

Merry Christmas, One and All

It was a lovely morning and the sun beckoned me to walk out back, among the pine trees. Not the most beautiful trees in the world, like telephone poles with a few wisps of green, way at their tops. The payoff is underfoot. I strolled along the soft piney pathways carved out by YS and his friend , John Deere. The air was a warm hug around me, the little breeze delicious. And once again I thought, "there's no place like home."

I've always hankered for a Norman Rockwell sort of life. You know the one, with the old homestead, where all the children grew up, and to which they flock back at the holidays, offspring in tow, to gather round the groaning table....And hark! I hear the OC groaning too, in exasperation. Option #1 : Stop lurking! Option # 2 :Bear with me while I indulge my little fantasy!........The NR grandparents are portly [we're not], and jolly [hmmm]. They've got their **** figured out, and don't visit their angst on the younger generations. They love all their children and grandchildren, regardless of long hair or piercings, or strong opinions or outlandish choices in clothing..... The grandchildren run and jump and laugh, and swing on the same swing, under the same old oak tree that Mama and Papa swung on in their day.....ok, ok, even I'm laughing now.......

At the back corner I walked in under the graceful, whispering shade of the Budda's Belly, pride and joy of the OC and YS both. They brought it home five years ago in the back of the car, a mere sapling, and now it reaches thirty feet into the sky. Up front, near the road, another variety of bamboo flourishes, lower-growing and spreading, beloved by quail and other shy creatures. Along the side of the house I come to YS's pepper patch. The boy has a green thumb--from farmers on both sides---Ukrainian and Irish both, perhaps? The plants are past their prime now, and probably need to be pulled up, but skinny peppers, like miniature red and orange lights, still cling to their tired stalks. A few yellow blooms still swagger, nearby, on the bedraggled marigold plants.

The azaleas are blooming by the front door, blazing red, just in time for Christmas, and behind them, bunches of red berries hang on the tall nandina. But best of all is the maple, between the front porch and the road, half of its beautiful foliage already deep red.

"He that planteth a tree
is the servant of God;
He provideth a kindness
for many generations,
and faces that
he hath not seen
Shall bless him."
My boys, on this score alone, have secured their places in heaven. Over on the opposite side from the pepper patch, in a shady little grove, a camelia is blooming---beautiful creamy white blossoms---what good, after all, is red without a little Christmas white to set it off?
So it's not a NR homestead, and it's not the Lake Isle of Innisfree, to which, in lonely moments , my heart often flies. Nor is it exactly a small cabin "of clay and wattles made". We don't have "nine bean rows " here, nor " a hive for the honeybee". But peace does "come dropping slow", and I realise maybe I've come to love this latest "home".
Holidays make of me a worse emotional wreck than usual. I miss the children my children used to be. It all went by in such a blur, too fast, before I had a chance to savour each one of them.....and then they were gone.
My eyes, like the rims of overflowing buckets, carefully carried over uneven terrain, can spill over at any moment....sending the menfolk running for cover. Best to talk to her only of the weather, or politics, or bills to be paid, or the aged and infirm drivers out there on the roads, endangering the rest of us........just don't get into any family drama.....please.
I need to get comfortable in this new Phase.....After all, isn't this what I dreamed about all those frazzled, child-raising years? To not be needed so much and so constantly; to not have to have all the answers; to, once in a while, have a moment to daydream, all by myself, without the chorus of " mommy, mommy, mommy!"
"you may give them your love but not
your thoughts,
for they have their own thoughts."
"their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow
which you cannot visit,
not even in your dreams."
And so "I will arise and go now", to the kitchen, to count my blessings, and banish that persistent Grinch to his dark corner, and set to baking....
I wish for peace in the world at Christmas; peace in my family and in yours; peace for my children and their families; for my OC and YS, who I'll be so glad to have home; peace for my scattered friends everywhere, and for all my lovely new blogger friends. A merry and peaceful Christmas to one and all!


Stomper Girl said...

And a happy Christmas to you and your family too, Molly.

That was a lovely post. I particularly liked these sentiments:
"you may give them your love but not your thoughts,for they have their own thoughts." and "their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow which you cannot visit,not even in your dreams."

So true! Christmas. It's all about your family. And now that I'm a parent, especially about one's children.

Stomper Girl said...

PS. Did you break the computer?

Aunty Evil said...

Oh wow Molly, you have outdone yourself with this one!

How whimsical, mysterious and wistful it sounds.

I found myself sighing with delight at the end of your post, just from the image you painted in my mind. Thank you.

Have a lovely Christmas Molly, may it be everything you wish for.

Becky in FL said...

Oh, I can just see you out there wandering through the tall grove, absorbing the pine smell and so full of thought. You're a good and dear person, and I'm so glad we're friends! Merry Christmas to you, too, Molly Bawn!!

nutmeg said...

Hi Molly, thankyou for your visit last week. Sorry to comment and run, but my parents have arrived for their Christmas stay and I'm going AWOL for a week or two. But I look forward to reading more of the "chronicles" in the new year. Merry Christmas.

meggie said...

I too, enjoyed your post. As I enjoy all your posts!

I love Kalil Gibran.

I hope your Christmas is blessed & joyous.

Pam said...

Oh, this one nearly brought a tear to my eye. The empty nest looms for us - one married and away, the othe two still here, though after periods away for various reasons. As you say, one is so busy childrearing and then suddenly...

Happy Christmas, anyway. Lovely post.

velcro said...

that was lovely!

Merry Christmas Molly!

Anonymous said...

Your surroundings are so beautifully described. The trees and foliage seem heavenly - every bit as good as a Norman Rockwell scene. This post was a pleasure to read. Best wishes to you for a happy new year filled with much brightness and love.