Thursday, February 14, 2008
Valentine's Day! One of my favorite days of the year.
My friend, Laura, hadn't yet visited our tiny cottage so I called her yesterday morning and it just worked out (does anything really 'just work out'?) that she was available for lunch (she, who has a real job. Two, actually.) So I cleaned a bit then decorated a bit, which took a huge amount of imagination since I brought only our bare essentials with us.
At the bistro table below the two windows in our livingroom (where I sit when I need some winter light) I brought in the two diningroom chairs then draped each with a white sheer curtain which I keep in our (unplugged)chest freezer along with some heavy curtains, placemats, damask dinner napkins and a box of extra tape. (In a tiny house you must do with you must do.) The old chipped-up 1940's kitchen chairs suddenly looked magical beneath the sheers. The table is always draped with an olive-ish tablecloth and the windows have white sheers and olive-ish damask curtains.
Anyway, after a bit more decorating I walked through the snow down to the deli I've mentioned before and bought sandwiches, potato salad and chips. And ok, a new dark chocolate mint Three Muskateers bar which I'd not yet seen in-person, only on tv. (Tasty, but not amazingly-great.) Hiked back home, waited for Laura, then when she arrived, gave her the grand three-minute tour of my house. She liked it, said it was cozy. And it is. She also said the trains across the street probably make the house shake like crazy, but I told her, no. They don't. I love the trains and the Amtrak ones are never long enough for all my dreaming.
We had a nice Valentine time. It had been weeks since we'd shared lunch. I told her that actually, I'd so needed these weeks of time alone for, although some people heal best among crowds of friends or family, always I have healed best alone.
Always I'm grateful for the privilege of being a homemaker, but lately, more than ever. For when I needed some time off, whole weeks and weeks of it, I simply took the time off. And rested. I had to ask no person's permission for that time. I took no cut in pay. Did not lose my job. I just took the time off... and it came to me --I wish everyone could do that because--so often--we all need time off to heal... to slow down... to think... to plan... and most of all, to listen to that still, small voice of the One who knows how fragile our minds can be when faced with hardship or when driven much too hard and fast, in ways He never meant them to be used.
So I guess what I'm saying is that if you need time off, don't think of yourself as weak, but rather, human like the rest of us. And if you cannot take long stretches of time off to heal or recharge, do try to find small stretches in your day whenever you can. Or at the very, very least--try to give your brain a vacation as you go about your day... give reasoning a rest. Let go of questioning for awhile as well as doubt, worry and dread. Replace those with a few weeks of trust and love and joy--and that will be a vacation you well deserve, one which God would love to give you, I'm sure... and one your brain will appreciate, whether it ever makes it to a sunny day at the beach--or not.
... Happy Valentine's Day to each of you! And for those of you who graced my mailbox with Valentines, I do thank you so much for sweetening my snowy winter days... and my life.