Saturday, December 15, 2007

Three days of celebration

Friday Night.
So many people we love coming and going. Filling our home despite the white snowy way to our door. Despite the howling wind. Despite the traffic. Despite, despite, despite.
Always-friends. The ones who always come. Would come to us even if they were near deaths door. Family we see often, but rarely see here in our place. Them to us this night. Welcome to our home! Last minute sleepover guests. Cousins we love but never see. Technical talk and many, many mugs of coffee. Bestowers of lost memories; family long gone. Wisdom. Laughter. An unexpected visit from a grieving widow. Here to visit our party only hours from the side of her husband's grave. Oh, welcome dear Aunt. Lover of life. Do not compliment. Do not thank. Just rest here with us a moment that we might share this warm place with you on this cold, dark day. Glowing lights. Children flitting here and there in a pack. Thrilled by the responsibility given them to decorate the big tree. Food. Never-ending food. A little girl honoured for her five years of life.

Saturday Morning.
One nervous girl at our doorstep. "Mommy, please stay five minutes with me?" Another little girl. Another. All bearing gifts. All quick to fly away giggling, exploring this new place. Introductory words between women. Surface level inquiries. What do they think of me? My home? Sprinkles and sweetness and sticky fingered ladies. Little personalities revealing themselves in all their uniqueness. One needs some comfort. Another bellows out demands. One sits demurely. Another leads the way. Glittery pink gifts; uselessness in all shapes and sizes bring a grin to my girl's face. I'm glad. Through it all two little boys are swept along for the ride. Caught up in the feminine flurry of activity. 2:00 comes. Little girls go, taking with them currents of energy that leave this house calm.

The day she was born. A special crepe breakfast, by request. Tiny sleepover guests make the morning lively. Snow. The day becomes defined by snow. The sky is white with it. The roads are a mess of zigzagging drifts. Wraith-like fingers streaming across the pavement. Willing our little car to make it through the drifts and over the dunes. A church filling with souls who have braved the roads. A service for the little ones, that they might share a story. Wee sheep and dainty angels singing age-old songs that we all know. Fellowship and food, cars being buried outside by snow. Let it come. Many willing hands will help dig us out, and on our way. And dig we did. Stuck. Dig. Stuck. Dig. All the live long day. Finally reaching our night-haven. No going home tonight. Refuge from the storm. One little girl's birthday marked by a day's bountiful display of co-operation, generosity and love.