As you might have been able to tell by the radio silence around here, the end of the year was not an easy time for me.
Don’t get me wrong. We had a lovely Thanksgiving, and Christmas at the cabin was the best ever, with no drama or disasters. I attended church and small group ministry as usual. I got involved with the local progressive group. I bought a mandolin for my birthday.
And yet things didn’t feel quite right. Like I was holding my breath. Waiting.
Apparently I was waiting on hope. Hope can be debilitating when there’s nothing for it but to wait. Hope when you can act is a different thing, empowering, energizing, but hope you can’t act on? That’s hard.
After December 19, things started to break free. There was no hope to wait on anymore. It would be four years of struggle, of fighting and defending and supporting. Four years of action. I could do action. And just as suddenly, things started to break free in my own life. I started setting up my bullet journal for 2017, looking ahead at what was to come. I recommitted to my weight loss (albeit AFTER all the goodies at work had done their damage.) I used the money Mom gave me for my birthday to sign up for mandolin lessons. I’m going to the Women’s March in Philly. (I can’t do the DC one because I have to serve at church the next day.)
Probably the most metaphoric thing of the whole period was that I learned how to bank a fire overnight. This is probably one of those generational things that we’ve lost out on. My mom never could explain to me how to do it, although she seemed to know how instinctively. But as a society we don’t need to tend fires anymore, so we’ve put aside that knowledge. I was reading a book on cabin building from the 1940’s, though, and there was the nugget of knowledge I’d been looking for since I was a kid. Bury a log in the ashes and coals of a dying fire and close all the dampers. In the morning, you will still have coals to start the new day’s fire with. I only used 1 match our whole 5 days in the cabin. My fire died, but the coals lingered to flare again the next day.
I’m ready to relight my fire for 2017. And I have coals to share.