It's official. Spring - that is. All signs point to it: the stores have emptied their shelves of stockings and bows and have replaced them with hearts and shamrocks. In western Pennsylvania, the buds on the pussy willows are actually beginning to poke out - confused by the 60 degree weather and the deluge of March-like rain. On December 23rd, it doesn't feel especially 'Christmasy". But that really is a Hallmark conceit - isn't it? Or maybe Norman Rockwell. Snow and such...my mom pointed out how silly it is to presume that everyone envisions Christmas the same way we do just because all of the songs are about cold and snow and conspiring by a fire. The truth is that most of the world probably spends more time perspiring than putting another log on.
Whatever is my point? I suppose it makes me sad to see Christmas go, seemingly even before it arrives. I devote so much time to the business end of things: shopping, wrapping, cleaning, baking, etc., that I don't remember to look around until it's too late. Until I'm confronted by a glitter-glued cupid.
Yesterday I had to have a scan of my leg to make certain that I didn't have a blood clot. The calf was swollen - about half an inch bigger than the other - and the podiatrist I went to see for my aching heel didn't want to take any risks. The test came back negative, but it did take up a considerable chunk of my time. I had so much to do - a big list waiting for me on the kitchen counter - last-minute things I needed to pick-up and do, but when the man said blood clot, I could not remember what one of those things was. All I could think was that I didn't want to be dead for Christmas. And it's funny to me (today) that it took a life-threatening situation for me to appreciate the 60 degree weather. The rain. To remember to love the people around me or I might as well pitch their presents - the ones I stayed up till 2 am to wrap.
My heart, not unlike the Grinch's, feels 10 times bigger today. I wish that for you. Merry Christmas, my friends.