Hello, happy first weekend of December! Long time no blog, haha. That’s getting to be the usual around here, but not for lack of things to share or writing urges. Evolution is in the air, though, and I am happy about it. Blogging will pick back up in time.
A good portion of my week has been spent up in the Apartment, sewing aprons and towel sets, organizing Christmas gifts, making yarn crafts, and playing a not-low-key-enough game of fetch with Klaus. Between tasks we chase each other back and forth along the length of the second story and up and down the stairs. We have wrecked many a laundry basket and more than a few framed paintings on the wall in the hot pursuit of slobbery tennis balls. His slobber, to be clear, not mine. Okay.
These hours immersed in creative projects have been so nourishing. My thoughts are clicking into place. My physical energy is adjusting from slightly obsessive marathon training back to a steadier, stronger norm. And I have lots of beautiful textiles to show for the time.
The soundtrack of this past week has been mostly Sting Christmas music. One of the best songs kind of sums up life lately. Soul Cake. Do you recognize it? Please go give it a listen.
Soul cake, soul cake, please good missus a soul cake.
An apple a pear a plum or a cherry,
Any good thing to make us all merry.
I actually feel like we have been feasting on Soul Cake for weeks. Life has taken a delicious turn, and we feel nourished far beyond even the good done by a few days in the Apartment.
Thanksgiving with my family was beautiful. Aunt Marion and Uncle John hosted us locals, including sweet Grandpa Stubbs. My sister Angela was with us, such an answer to hopes and prayers. The nieces (when did they get so tall and skinny?) kept everyone entertained and stocked up on cuddles. As always the food and surroundings were perfect. We feasted and laughed and healed each other a little and made a thousand sparkling memories. We wrapped each other with love. It was an excellent beginning to a long, cozy winter.
The Soul Cake feast began before that, too. Handsome and I managed to spend a few precious days in Estes Park with our oldest, maybe my fifth trip to visit since she moved there but Handsome’s first. Every minute with her is worth a hundred written pages. She makes us proud and happy, and we cherish the opportunity to see the world through her eyes. That quick weekend also gave us a good appetite for winter and all the wintry holidays. (But let’s not talk about extreme altitude sickness, which is apparently very real. I discovered the depth of this particular despair for the first time on this last trip and hope to never experience it again.)
I often fall asleep saying thank you thank you thank you for so many things. From our marriage and family to my husband’s career and my own secret aspirations, from health and well-being to finances, and every little thing in between, life is amazing. So many answered prayers, miracles of every shape and size, unexpected blessings, and innumerable joys. Even the remaining heartache is so clearly encased in the glow of hope and faith that it barely casts a shadow. This is not one of those fake it till you make it seasons. It’s a bright, hard-won time for celebrating. And we intend to seize it.
God bless the master of this house
and the mistress also
and all the little children,
that round your table grow.
Soul cake is everything around us lately. The food we eat, the people who love us, the work we are lucky to do. Soul Cake is time and energy and reading material and music. Movie nights, cowboy parades, Santa sightings, and twinkling light displays. Scriptures, traditions, desperate prayers answered beyond our wildest dreams. It is all abundant for us, for our children, for the generations before us. Our friends are Soul Cake for us and we hope to be theirs.
Nourished in all these way, fed heavily on Soul Cake, the Christmas spirit comes easily. On this first weekend of December I am already effervescent and relaxed. Giddy, really.
We were talking this morning about the sustainability of Christmas traditions. We were between donuts in our pajamas and the Christmas parade in Stockyard City, and the radio ads were full speed ahead with materialism. I am feeling the exact opposite of worried about that. Because the extra nonsense always falls away in its own time. We are healthy and strong in our Souls, because of all the Cake, and that’s what matters.
We hope that you’ll be kind
with your apple and your pear,
and we’ll come no more a-soulin’
till Christmastime next year.
How is your winter starting out? Are you feeling hopeful and confident, or do you need a heavy helping of what nourishes you? Either way, I wish you all the very best. We have plenty Soul Cake to share if you need some.
Happiest of Decembers, friends.
If you haven’t got a penny
a ha’ penny will do.
if you haven’t got a ha’ penny
then God bless you.
All that sounds so lovely, Marie. I’ve never been to Stockyard City at this time of year, but we may have to added to our Christmas date idea list! I hope you and your family can continue to gorge yourselves on soul cake for the rest of the season.
Thanks for reading, Marisa! We fell into that tradition by accident, as seems to be the case with our favorites. We always go shopping in Cowtown after the parade, and we always find treasures nobody else offers. Cool way to start the month for lots of reasons. I’m looking forward to the coming season!! Lots of good energy. Thank you xoxo You gorge yourself on Soul Cake too, ok?
Debra Walter says
Marie, you really have such a soulful way with words. I am so happy for you and your family! So many blessings. I can’t help but think you have created this abundance of goodness by how you live each and every day, in gratitude. Thank you for sharing your soul cake with all of us! I am honored to witness so much love and kindness. You remind me how important it is to embrace all of our blessings, pick ourselves up when we fall, and never, ever lose hope! Thank you!
Oh Debbie, I love you!! I can’t really take credit for all of this good stuff happening, but I can say that learning to cultivate gratitude has been trans-formative. And along the way I have grown tired of tacking on those caveats, like “I know this still hurts, but life is beautiful…” Life beautiful, period, including the hurts! Thank you for reading. I am so so happy you are in my life again. And Merry Christmas!