Monday, December 27, 2010

RESPITE



     If life were just about cozy socks, maybe adding hot chocolate, reading material and a log on the fire would give most of us enough peace for a long time. But the socks eventually need changing, the chocolate is enjoyed and the log burns down. The book is read. Yet the story is not over since the moment, if we are lucky to have it, is but a page in life.

It took a snowstorm to bring the metaphorical equivalent of that moment to me in my particular part of the Northeast where a relatively weak but genuine “blizzard” hit us for the first time in decades. We have had plenty of snowstorms and drifting over the years but not such fierce winds that even just a foot or so of snow was made into mountains here and there. Bitter cold, too.

Travelers returning to home and hearth after the Christmas holiday were caught in the storm, though most people were able to sit within and chill out, the Sunday after set to 33 1/3 rpm rather than 78, the stomach satiated enough that it could rest and sufficient presents to keep children occupied and out of the SUVs where all too many seem to spend all too much time going to their numerous appointments.

I did not cozy up to a book, though other family members, good readers all, were happy to do so. I did not change into cozy socks though I received a few pairs under the tree, and I am not a hot chocolate fan. But a good microbrew, a newspaper and three pairs of already washed socks brought the purring on in my quiet moment, stolen from the fast pace of life as if I were on a fast train that had pulled into a siding.

There I remained for a good part of the day, happy that the hands of the clock did not move  so fast, happy that I barely looked at the time. I sought no complication, did not push my brain to rack over political mistakes in my beloved country. I just put my being on autopilot and perused – did not study – the paper. The beer was not swished but sipped, and my three pairs of socks, regulation uniform on a cold day, constantly telegraphed that they were keeping my feet warm. Reassurance of blessed simplicity

What more could I want in my quiet? Not a thing, except perhaps that it last a bit longer.

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