Our Christmas Break started today...all the little kids were Holiday partied-out and I've been Jingle Belled to death and it is the strangest thing, but I realized that there is one "Christmas" that takes place at work/school where the children are crafted and storied and gamed out the wazoo, and there is exchanges of gifts and cards and what-nots that really don't mean a whole hell of a lot, and then there is the stop, the break, the "We're done!" and it all comes to some kind of grinding halt, much like Willy Wonka's strange boat ride in the old movie where they go faster and faster and strange scenes are flashing by and suddenly they stop and the lights come on, and there they are, ready to get out and really begin.
So, here I am with my children abed since early, my husband snoozing hard, and I just needed to take a few minutes to myself after this long, drawn-out day and say, "Ahhhhh, here I am. There I am. I'm all back together." It feels so good to sit in front of our Christmas tree in the quiet with my sparkling water and a new sweet thing with no sugar to enjoy. I've got my electric blanket wrapped around my lap and all is well.
I had a strange night as we had to pick up our car from a body shop as soon as I said goodbye to my Kindergarteners. The door on the car had to be completely replaced as it was seriously mangled by a friend backing into it...it looks lovely and just the way it did before. But then there was a kind of surreal walk through Costco as we tried to remember what we needed while we waded through the throng of buyers and noted to each other, "You look terrible. You need sleep, honey." Then I drove myself home, but needed goodies from Trader Joe's so I made a stop there and spent too long reading nutrition labels for some yummy things that have very little to no sugar that also does not use aspartame or the like...it feels strange to linger too long by oneself in a grocery store at odd hours of the night...
Then on the way home, I found an upturned vehicle with the dome light still on. After parking the car in the middle of the road, I ventured over and yelled out, "Hello?" and it was so strange. My voice didn't carry through the snow and the dark and the ice. I was so timid, I hardly recognized myself...but there I went, finally, up to the now earth-touched roof of the car and said again, "Hello, anybody need help?" I realized there was no one in the car, but I saw one set of halting footprints making their way into our subdivision, but was lost after a few steps in the gravel at the side of the road.
I drove the last few blocks home and decided to stop in our driveway and called 911. I was suddenly worried that someone had become disoriented and was now adrift and getting hypothermia...I wonder where they got themselves to, and if they were terrified as they walked in the snow, and if there really was only one, and suddenly the story became bigger and bigger in my mind and I had to tell myself to stop and rest, good lordy.
All this to say, I really do think that sleep is how we bring our spirit all back together in this one body package. When I get good sleep, I feel as if I wake up whole. I don't know if it is a teacher thing, a mother thing, a woman thing, or a Katie thing, but I send out pieces of myself all freakin' day long, every single day, and at night, I decided, I desperately need to bring all those pieces back together.
My first Solstice goal: to get between 8 and 9 hours of sleep every single night.
p.s. My whole family wants to celebrate the Solstice with me this year :)
that makes my pagan-heart glad.
(read 'pagan' as: from the Latin paganus, an adjective originally meaning "rural", "rustic" or "of the country." As a noun, paganus was used to mean "country dweller, villager" and I add without religion or doctrine, but tied to Nature and the broken-leaf edges of thoughts that have taken root as a spiritual pursuit)