The day was lingering in the hour between dark and light. Some faint pink shimmer of sunshine could be seen. Even inside we could feel the frost that was covering every surface in unbelievable crystals. There was no snow.
I was clearing away the dishes after breakfast and our three children were playing quietly on the floor. I caught a glimpse of the rising sun between the big fir trees on the other side of the field.
Then I knew it had to be now, the woods were pulling me to share the morning magic.
For once I just left the dirty dishes and hurried to bundle the kids and me in warm clothes. As none of them was in school and I was at home, they were used to long and lazy mornings and had never been outside this early. It was an adventure. I knew it would be warming up later in the day, so what we had to do had to be done now.
We ventured in among the pines, along the paths which soon would be covered in snow, on the trails that were not normally passable with three small kids and a baby buggy.
We were looking for puddles covered in ice, transformed to jewels by the slanted rays.
We were crashing the ice, laughing at the spindly, glassy, smashing sound.
We were showing each other twigs made of diamonds and stone made of ice.
Then we went home, finished our work and had cocoa and buns for lunch.
It was all for me. I shared and enjoyed with my kids, but frankly, even if they jumped and laughed and had so much fun while it lasted, none of them remembers this day as anything special now.
To me it was what I had to do, and a morning that still glitters in my memory.
To me the basic rule about having a true joyful Christmas free of tangles is not about forgetting oneself, but to remember to include oneself among the ones worthy of love. Even at Christmastime it is “love your neighbor as yourself” not instead of yourself.
Believe me, I know better than most how frantic and exhausting it is possible to make the season of peace and goodwill. The main story on Indexyourlife in December will be my way to a Christmas free of tangles.