Friday, December 20, 2019

All the Beautiful Blessings

The EnLIGHTened One

The holiday factory floor (table).

Semester is finished, though not quite finished with me. The chokehold is now just a jab in the ribs every now and then, checking to see how steady I am. For the past three weeks, I’ve been juggling on a high wire, in high heels, with a Pilot Precise V5 (my favorite pen) in my teeth: final cram-everything-in lesson plans, writing and giving final exams, shopping, doctor appointments for two people, end-of-the-year meetings, grandkid Christmas programs and robotics tourneys, wrapping, decorating, baking, and always, gradinggradinggrading…

As for my “long winter break,”—we start up again January 13—once the grading’s done, it’s time to prep for next semester. No rest for the wicked, as my granny used to say.

Still, I’m incredibly blessed, and I know it. I have a good job, a wonderful home with heat and indoor plumbing, plenty to eat, my first full-length poetry book, The Book of Crooked Prayer, coming out next June, Britbox AND Acorn, and happy twinkly lights everywhere I look. But my greatest blessings are my amazing husband of 32+ years, who goes about quietly, steadfastly, doing everything he can to make my life sweet and easier; my 84-year-old mother, baking Chex Mix, making that corn and macaroni casserole, and still teaching me; and kids, grandkids, and brothers popping in, calling, or coming for visits.

And there’s impeachment, maybe the best Christmas gift of all. The House, at least, stood up to lunacy and cruelty.

So today, as South Dakota hits 34 degrees with just hints of unmelted snow here & there, as finches, doves, sparrow, juncos, woodpeckers, and squirrels come to the birdie buffet, as steam pours from pipes and smoke from chimneys, I am ignoring my grading pile for a day to pay attention to and revel in my undeserved holiday gifts. Here's granddaughter Hazel wishing you a "Beautiful Christmas," and I wish you and yours SO much joy, all the love you’re able to share, and a promising new year!