It’s 5:03 am, and the kicking, flopping, gently snoring boy who crawled in bed with me shortly after the witching-hour has finally driven me out and up. My eyes sting in the pre-dawn dark while I feel around for some socks, and I pad down the hallway to steal a fluffy blanket from Jeffrey’s bed. The boys have haphazardly draped a string of colored Christmas lights around their window and over their desk, and the room is bathed in a soft, low rainbow- it reminds me of the Christmas bath, and I am glad- I will string those lights around the bathroom later today.
Warm air pours from the floor vents as the heater kicks on quietly somewhere under my stocking feet. Standing idly in the kitchen, dragging Jeffrey’s blanket and holding my laptop, I click on my star light in the kitchen window. My mind is slow and groggy still, the the tiny golden stars the lamp throws over the walls and ceiling decorate everything in the room-including me- with a quiet calm. Blue flames beautifully ignite with the turn of a knob, and soon my teakettle is humming and I am grateful firewood and stoking cast iron are not part of this sub-zero morning for me.
If I let myself, the weight of the day could settle on my shoulders- there are always things that need my attention- too many things. Yet I have found an odd and surprising balance in faith. If I tabulate and correlate and focus on all the things that I cannot get to or ever get done, the entire focus of my life is on where I am falling short. Surely some things require attention- but I am finding the things that are actually important are far fewer than one imagines. Shelter, love, food, direction and faith. I’ve got that covered– in spades. Most months, I have no idea how we are going to make it- but the last year has taught me that somehow, every month, we do. And so I have stopped worrying so fiercely- because it always works out. It’s like standing on a ball- if I think about it too much, I will fall. Faith colors my gratitude with familiarity.
My teakettle rumbles importantly to itself brings me back to my kitchen. A cloud of seam billows up as the peppermint and chamomile mix with the drizzle of honey in the bottom of my favorite Japanese teacup. Cradling my cup in my hands, I click the tree lights on with the button on the floor, and the living room is drenched in rainbow lights and comfort. The kids were right to replace The Faker’s classy white lights with this gentle rainbow. It feels good. It feels like home.