When stillness happens…
I live in Knoxville, Tennessee. Dixie, The Buckle of The Bible Belt. This is The South. We get the occasional snowfall here, but we are not used to ice.
But here we are, iced in due to a winter storm that dumped sleety frozen pellets on us this past Monday and now is dropping snow on top of the ice. Record low temperatures are predicted for tomorrow night and much of the city has come to a halt. Many schools are closed as well as a number of businesses.
I ventured out last evening for a rehearsal with Knoxville Choral Society, as we have concerts scheduled this week with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, and if at all possible, the show must go on. The roads at that time were not any trouble to navigate. My only issues were getting the ice chiseled off my car and eventually getting the door to my fuel tank un-frozen. It was good preparation for returning to work today.
Monday I was not scheduled to work, and Sweet Pea was sent home early from his job. It was wonderful to be tucked in safely at home with husband and dog, snuggled under blankets watching TV. For those few hours, there was no place anyone had to be.
There is a quiet sweetness in moments like these; it almost feels as though time has slowed and the world is in a state of suspended animation. I know that it can’t last forever. The quietness eventually gives way to the return of noise and activity, and I have to emerge from the cocoon of icy stillness.
Living my life the only way I know how…
Valentine’s Day is upon us once again. Sweet Pea and I have not made any special plans to celebrate the occasion, and that’s fine with me. I am working on Valentine’s Day and I’ll be happy just to get home and spend the evening together watching Netflix. Pizza Palace spaghetti might be a nice touch!
Many of my single friends are bewailing their uncoupled status as the day approaches. Maybe I take being in a relationship for granted…but I think of Valentine’s Day as a time to celebrate all kinds of love, not just the romantic-candles-and-roses kind. Case in point—my friend Anna sent me a cute and thoughtful Valentine earlier in the week, an expression of friendship in a Snoopy card. Certainly not romantic, but I appreciated it just the same.
Valentine’s Day brings to mind images of chocolates, flowers and, of course, hearts. So many of our day to day figures of speech refer to the heart, like wearing one’s heart on one’s sleeve, or being tender-hearted. Heartbreak, or heartache, is something familiar to us all.
I tend to live my life with my heart in my hands. I’ve tried other ways of living, trying to close my heart after having it broken, trying to shelter it behind an emotional wall of protection. But living that way was, for me, like being half dead. My heart is most comfortable extended toward the people in my life who matter. My husband, my friends and my family members who love me unconditionally all cradle my heart with gentle, tender care. Their love gives me the courage to extend my heart to others who may or may not respond. It’s risky to live with my heart in my hands, but for me, there’s really no alternative.