Posted by: drjamm | January 31, 2009

Christmas ornaments

The ornaments go down into the box…

With something more than caution
I handle them, and the lights, with their
tin star-shaped reflectors, brought along
from house to house, their pasteboard
toy suitcases increasingly flimsy.
Tick, tick, the desiccated needles drop.

— excerpt from “Taking down the tree” by Jane Kenyon


Its the end of January and those of you who read my entry “hang ups” ( will not be surprised that I am only now just putting away the Christmas ornaments. As I took down each ornament and put it in its own protective box, I felt simultaneously satisfied, sad, and apprehensive. Satisfied because our family had a beautiful Winter celebration that brought us closer together; sad because the holidays had come to and end and now “regular” life routines would take over; and apprehensive because I couldn’t help but wonder what would be happening in my life when I next took out these ornaments 11 months from now.

As I coiled up my Christmas tree lights, I wondered about how best to deal with my apprehension. Certainly economic realities weighed heavily in my thoughts as I contemplated the year ahead. I asked myself questions such as, “would my relationships with family still be close and would we still have mutual ease with each other, or would we move into a phase of struggle and growth?” and “what would happen with MY growth, health, and ability to rest at ease with myself?”

While I removed the tree, swept up the fallen needles, and returned the furniture to a new, fresh arrangement, I felt myself — my whole body — acknowledge the vast uncertainty of my life and what the future holds. I realized — once again — that all I can really do is love NOW; put away the ornaments NOW; care for my self, my family and friends, and my home NOW; sweep and tidy up NOW, and let the future stay in the Future. All I can really do is put away my family’s treasured Christmas ornaments for 11 months and wait to be surprised by what transpires between NOW and when I next open the holiday boxes.

By suppertime all that remains is the scent
of balsam fir. If it’s darkness
we’re having, let it be extravagant.

— excerpt from “Taking Down the Tree” by Jane Kenyon

101_0195What will I say when I next dig to the back of the closet, retrieve the Christmas boxes, open them up, and exclaim, “Hello old friends, I have a lot to tell you about our year…” Hmmmmm, I’ll just have to wait and see. For NOW, I’ll just rest and sip some tea.

I am sending along my wish that your NOW is full of Love and Life and that your future contains many moments of Beauty and Grace. Blessed Be.

Credits and links:

Quote Credits: “Taking Down the Tree” by Jane Kenyon from Collected Poems. Copyright © 2005 by the Estate of Jane Kenyon. . Electronic text via Poetry Foundation

Photo credits: by jamm @bright heart singing

bright heart singing, copyright 2009 – jamm. Creative commons attribution, non-commercial sharing only (translation: feel free to quote me in context or use this entry but please always credit me for my work, thanks.)


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