Friday, December 9, 2011

Promises, Promises

So...I did not run this morning as planned. I totally bailed on it. Instead, when the garbage trucks woke me up sometime around 5:30, I snuggled down under the covers in my big empty bed, listening to the water run for Ian's shower and wondering why it has to be so unbearably dark in the morning this time of year.

Quickly, while my thoughts rolled out from under my eyelids and tried to collect themselves for the day ahead, 5:30 became 6:00--and then 6:15. Finally, swinging my legs over the side of the bed, I promised the dog we'd go running before class tonight. Afterward, I'll have just enough time to take a quick shower and wolf down some dinner before heading up to Hartford. It was an easy promise to make to myself: at 3:30pm there will be sunshine. At 6:00am there is no sunshine. The end.

While others are counting down the days until Christmas, I'm busy counting down the days (13) until they start getting longer again. For all of the long, dreary February days I've endured, the darkness of November and December is still the hardest for me to take. Thank God for the flicker and glow of candles and holiday lights. They are a promise.

Those lights have helped make my evening runs more cheerful the past couple of weeks, too. I love seeing  the displays my neighbors have created. Some are busy and colorful; others (like my own) are more serene and white. Either way, they all amuse me and make me smile. Sometimes they even scare the dog, who started barking at some lawn reindeer the other day at dusk. The twilight played tricks on my old girl: Were they deer? Were they dogs? And why were they just standing there staring at her like that?

The darkness can be sweet, though, if you know where to look. Although I didn't have time to run last night, I did manage to get out for a 20 minute walk with the dog. The moon was bright, the sky was clear, the stars were all twinkly. It was so, so quiet. There is such peace in moments like that, even if it is kind of cold out there.

There is a reason that this season's holidays are festivals of light. We all need the promise of light in the darkness, right?

Maybe it's the one promise we can count on. Light. Our own truth. Our own efforts to be true to ourselves. For me, that also means being clear with others. I have been reminded more than once in this great life how important it is to let people know you love and value them. In some cases, we don't get a second chance to ever say it while they're alive. In other cases, it creates that second chance with them and that relationship--be it romantic, familiar, or whatever. Love is love. Love is light. At the end of the day, I've said what I've needed to say. I've said it without expectation, too. And thank God for that. Otherwise, I might have been sorely disappointed.

Anyway, this season is about giving, not receiving. In fact, every day of every season should really be about giving. This is just the time of year we celebrate that concept. So skip the trip to Walmart. Put down the pepper spray. And call--or email, if it's easier--someone just to say hi and let them know you care.

This concludes today's PSA.

In other news, I have a high school play and a few parties this weekend, in addition to class tonight and all day tomorrow. Sean's best buddy is having a baseball party on Sunday afternoon. His mom, Cindy, and I were talking about how ridiculously excited the grown-ups are for this party. Indoor baseball on a December night? Hell's yeah! Must remember wear my Cons and not my new Danskos to that party, so I can play. I've been living in these black patent Danksos for a week now. They were an early Christmas present from my mom, who knows I need them for my student-teaching gig this March. I have never owned more comfortable shoes in my life. Thanks, Mom!

In fact, I should probably call my mom...just to say hi.


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