The January Exhale

We had about three, maybe four inches of snow last night. When I raised the blinds in the dining room window, the full moon over the pines in the front yard caught my eye. Just above the horizon, even to the west, the first variegated bands of lavender and pink wove themselves into the deep blue blanket of the sky.

I exhaled. Some of it was from the beauty before me. Some of it was with relief that two holidays and a wedding had passed, and being grateful for the return of the mundane.

The two holidays were good. Christmas day involved a potluck at a close friend’s. My family gathering followed that weekend. We are all getting older, and we know we don’t have the luxury of time to nurse the petty b.s. arguments that triggered off many years of resentment. We give smaller gifts; we make donations on one another’s behalf. And we get Chinese takeout. Much less stress.

New Year’s was pretty quiet. Oakley and I watched movies and did chicken a la crock-pot. And made soup. Lots of soup.

The last and highest note of the season was this past Saturday when our neighbors’ daughter married her high school sweetheart. In defiance of a grey day wrapped in a drizzle blanket, the bride and groom exchanged their vows in a church filled with harp music and white light. White roses, white twinkles on the Christmas tree in a discreet corner all pushed back the darkness.

As the pastor droned his sermon, all I could think was that it was great that the bride’s braces had been removed in time for the wedding. No, it had been several years ago when she started high school. My left index knuckle worked as an emergency pacifier, and then as a plug when the pastor referenced less than progressive theology concerning relationships.

Archaic notions aside, it was as lovely as lovely could be. The bride and groom are in Florida today. He goes back to school next week for his next semester towards his master’s. While they go about their transition into the reality of married life, the rest of us transition into the mundane glory of the every day.

When I looked out the window this morning, the moon hung over the pine trees in a clear dark sky, and sauntered towards the western horizon. Just another January morning.

Or is it?

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