Sunday, December 19, 2010

Working on enjoying the holidays

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The holiest of all holidays are those
Kept by ourselves in silence and apart;
The secret anniversaries of the heart,
When the full river of feeling overflows;
The happy days unclouded to their close;
The sudden joys that out of darkness start
As flames from ashes; swift desires that dart
Like swallows singing down each wind that blows!

White as the gleam of a receding sail,
White as a cloud that floats and fades in air,
White as the whitest lily on a stream,
These tender memories are;--a fairy tale
Of some enchanted land we know not where,
But lovely as a landscape in a dream.

It's beginning to feel a {bit} like Christmas.  I have a pudding to make, gifts to finalise and a road trip to plan and pack for, as well as playdates and birthday parties and family parties to attend.  I like the story of Penelope who forestalled her many suitors during Odysseus' long absence with a classic ruse.  She told them that she could not choose between them until she had finished work on a tapestry which she wove by day and unravelled by night.  That is precisely how I feel; in limbo, with the best laid plans unravelled by distractions and where each day seems to have as many jobs to do as the previous one. It helps to pause and remember that holidays are about making memories and savouring more intense moments of togetherness than we enjoy during the rest of the year.  If only there were more hours in the day to get the essentials done as well, and have a bit of a lie in.  Ah well, must away to soak fruit and sort laundry.

Image: Bronze sculpture, Penelopeby Emile Bourdelle, 1912. National Gallery of Australia.


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