I spent much of this day disassembling Christmas, first pulling the lights out of the windows, removing the garland from the edge of the bar and from around the doorways, and finally by taking down Grandma's Christmas Village. It was a difficult day, one I don't relish despite how necessary I find it. I am not one who likes to linger over the holidays and silently--and sometimes not so silently--judge those whose trees and lights stay up past New Years Day. I think it's important to start the new year clean and fresh, without remnants of the year passed. And yet it breaks my heart to do it.
It was cold today so Duncan and I remained indoors. He stayed mostly on the couch and out of the way while he watched me tend to my chores. And he came to me when I teared up as I cleared away the houses and shops of the village. I saved Grandma's house for last and when I finally folded it up in bubble wrap and tissue paper I felt as though she--and Christmas--were impossibly far away. I felt alone and tired and afraid of what was in store for the coming year.
But Dunc was with me, comforting me in that special way he has, by either bringing me a pile of toys or urging me to venture out into the snow or by simply pulling me down onto the couch where he can rest his head on my side and breath sleepily into me. He is a good boy and I am blessed to have him with me, on this last day of 2010 and for all the days that loom ahead of us.
And so I sit here, counting the blessings of the year, a warm dinner in my belly, a cup of hot cocoa (sweet and spiked) steaming on the table in front of me, Philip Glass' "Mad Rush" playing softly on the speakers, a pup curled next to me, two cats behind me and another in the bedroom snoring into my pillow. It is a quiet night, exactly as I hoped it would be. There is nothing left to say, no one to visit, no more steps to take. I need only watch the clock roll over and begin again.
May the blessings of the coming year be like blades of grass on a sunny hillside for you. May each step you take be strong and sure and concerned less with destination and more with journey. And perhaps if we're both lucky, Duncan and I will meet you out there on the trail. We can walk arm in arm and tell each other of the miles we traveled and those we have yet to traverse. How grand it will be.