Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart


meatloaf and dishes and errands and family…

2010-11-25 15.06.38This kind of holiday doesn’t just happen… Nor does a big-ass tree, replete with crystal icicles, the last remnants of childhood ornaments, and a couple of true heirlooms. And the gifts beneath, wrapped in foil and French ribbon, sprinkled w/ tiny ornaments & feathers.

Nor do holiday cards, or recommendations for colleagues, or even breakfast! It all takes time, energy, and sometimes they’re in short supply.

Despite how much I enjoy my friends, family, colleagues, and even strangers on the bus, I’m actually an introvert. I need huge quantities of ‘down time,’ as we call it in my nuclear family. Meaning: time to putter over the plants that look so lovely behind the table.Time to feed the birds outside the window. Time to drink tea & just be. Even, when I make the time, time to meditate.

Needless to say, this is NOT the same kind of time as the time it takes to put the holidays on. The time to make the main dish, and whatever sides are my responsibility. Time to set the table, set out the serving pieces, etc. Time to make the initial list because w/out a list I’m kind of like Tom Hanks trying to talk to a basketball… And then, of course, there’s actually doing the things on the list!

But you know what I’ve learned, doing this for many years? I’ve come to see that the prep is the gift, really. It doesn’t show — the best gifts often don’t — and it isn’t flashy. And ideally, no one should even THINK about what you did to get ready. Because if they do, they might feel like they should have done something else, something ‘more.’ And that’s not true. But when I’m cooking, or choosing dishes, or even listening to holiday music while I make up multiple lists, I’m thinking of all my family. Of the upcoming holiday time together. It’s enough.

I’m also learning — slow, but sure — that enough is a wonderful word. I am enough. What I get done is enough. And this lovely upcoming family holiday, filled with preparations where I think of my sons & DIL & grandson & nephews & nieces & sisters & EVERYONE coming to our house…? It’s also just right. It’s enough.



Previous Posts

the other side
You will notice, if you look at the picture, a dearth of men. There are the outlaws, w/ the exception of grandchildren, and a cousin. That's it. Mine is a family of women, mostly. We talk about 'the aunts' -- my mother and her three sisters -- and 'the sisters' -- my three sisters & me. My grand

posted 6:41:49pm Dec. 18, 2014 | read full post »

it doesn't have to be perfect (the enemy of good)
  Last night's dinner was brought to you by some obscure soup company. Canned clam chowder, w/ the addition of cracked pepper & white corn. YUM! Served w/ water crackers, & a side of tabbouleh

posted 12:59:47pm Dec. 17, 2014 | read full post »

of waiting, and childhood impatience
As I wrap presents, write out menus, email to find out who's bringing what to the holiday feast, I can't help but think of my mother. She was NOT organised, nor was she an organiser. Tell her what to do, and she did

posted 9:35:25pm Dec. 15, 2014 | read full post »

love (and happiness) like ribbon
Love is, I think, like ribbon. It's beautiful, for one thing (I adore pretty ribbon!). But it tangles, gets easily wrinkled and needs care to last. At the holidays, when I'm going through SKEINS of it, I find myse

posted 10:21:22pm Dec. 13, 2014 | read full post »

the curse of the holiday meltdown
All the ornaments are on the tree. The newest riff on the family tabbouleh is chilling, waiting for us to taste-test it after the flavours meld. The three packages needing mailing -- well, the ones that have arriv

posted 6:43:01pm Dec. 11, 2014 | read full post »




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