Happy New Year to everyone!
2008 has been a roller coaster for all of us, I suspect.
Losing Mona so suddenly has caused me to re-think many of my priorities in life. Then today, a friend sent me this article about Joshua Bell playing a Stradivarius in the subway and it helped me put into words so much of what I’ve been feeling of late. Life has become too fast paced. I am a gadget freak. I have gadgets to improve my productivity all around me. A friend once laughed at my kitchen and said she was amazed not only that I had these strange things, but that I actually used them.
Over the Christmas holiday, though, I took a moment and made biscuit dough by hand, carefully cutting out the biscuits with a glass — avoiding all of my lovely cutters. I used an old wooden rolling pin because my fancy plastic one (you put water in it and freeze it so it doesn’t warm the dough) was broken because one of my kids lost the cap. I love the feel of dough in my hands. I picked up some of my crafts as well, and made a necklace for my niece. It felt good to be slowly working with my hands. I have been guilty of working to buy things that make my life easier, but having to work harder to pay for them…and not even paying them off before the break.
My husband and I sat on our listing sofa and discussed buying new furniture. The sofa is only a few years old and it simply must go from here to the dump. We were discussing fashion and I said, "I’m done. I’m done buying things. I’m done buying this disposible stuff." My husband does fabulous wood work. I asked him if he would consider building me a lovely craftsman style sofa. I will make the cushions, and I have no doubt it will be more comfortable than the sinking sofa has ever been.
I’ve loved the peace the snow storms brought to me. I stayed home and made hot chocolate — not from a mix, but from cocoa powder melted slowly over a double boiler that Mona had given me explicitly for chocolate. I have a tradition that this is the only cocoa served in my home when there is snow on the ground — because that’s the only time I have to make the luscious stuff. The snow is melting and I must return to the real world in the next few days, but I’m hoping to find time to continue to have hot cocoa, to sit and look at a sunset or watch the funny orange woodpecker that now sits on my railing.
Is this a resolution? I don’t know. A change of heart? Perhaps. I know that I have thought over and over the last few months about how incredibly short life is, and how utterly ridiculous the accumulation of stuff is. Those things will either break or be given to my descendants as a burden…how silly. If I believe — as I do — that this world is merely a transient portion of our existence, a train-stop in eternity, then why would I be so focused on things?
I think there was a reason Jesus responded to people’s worries about clothing by pointing out the beauty of flowers. Perhaps even then it was easy to get caught up in this life and miss out on the beauty around us.
I’m not sure I would know Joshua Bell if I heard his music, but I hope that I would stop and listen.
May your new year be full of purring kittens, incredible sunsets and rich chocolate.