Willa Cather’s quote “Why, when I was writing about it, it came right out of the ink bottle” describes just how I felt in regards to my blog when I was first diagnosed with cancer but now when life is going good, don’t get me wrong, there are always weeds in the field, the writing is slower to surface. Perhaps, back then, it felt as though I had this urgency to write all that was in my head. This process of writing is such a valuable one. It’s through this process that one gains an understanding of what one really thinks and so I wonder what people do who never put their thoughts to pen, or keyboard. How do they really express all that is going on inside them? And how do they reconcile with the pain of hurt and sorrow? Or how do they show gratitude for all the blessings that come their way every day?
These first days of January are hard. When I was a school teacher, going back after Winter Break was more difficult than starting the school year. Now, I loved teaching but coming back after the long awaited break with all its merriment was dreadful. How quickly you become used to time being your own. You like spending your days however you want with few constraints on your time. And then it seems like Spring is more than months away, that Summer is a dim memory and furthermore is never coming back. And the students are not happy to be back either. But deal with it we did and as soon as school got rolling we became resigned to the act of buckling down to our work and really I think that is how we got through January, being busy.
I must admit that I feel a bit melancholy when January hits. We allow ourselves to forget all the drudgeries of life during the holidays. We concentrate of what we can give to others and look forward to family parties and events. And then January hits, and so does reality. I think that must be why I have awoken the past few mornings with less enthusiasm for the day than I usually carry. It also feels like such a time of flux- there is this inner push to be more productive (and I like that) but also this evaluation of how I did with my goals and aspirations of last year, and I always fall short. And it’s easy to start to feel like the hardships you’ve endured in the past will always be a part of you. We’re funny creatures, us humans, we really focus on how life is right now and think it will be like that forever. And I often think of my dear friend Carol Skeen at this time of year. She is never without a smile and positive word and she lives each day with the passion of a twenty year old.
This Christmas, I made a quilt for Carol and John as a thank you for their influence in my life. It was a labor of love, I enjoyed every minute of it!