On New Year’s Day, rowdy wind rocks our trees. It strums our Corinthian wind chimes (Tuned to a C chord, they’re gorgeous).
I raise Dreamer’s cell phone (mine’s not as smart). With a click, I’m recording the chimes.
Flash Forward. By midnight, this list will describe my day:
Mop up dog barf
Accidentally break favorite bowl
Make a nice lunch for Dreamer (which makes him sick)
Struggle with blog post
Struggle with “chimes video” (which won’t upload)
Mutter bad words
Accidentally shatter the “Peace” (Marquee falls off mantel)
Get car stuck in driveway
And that would be the really long driveway I spent several days clearing, shovelful by shovelful. (Did I mention our plow’s on the fritz, and Shovel. Shove again.
Repent again (more bad words)
With ice-flurries biting like buckshot, no let-up in sight and my stamina gone, I slump over my shovel. Never mind I grew up in Wisconsin.
Now imagine an icicle. Measured against me, it’s taller (also gradually thickening), and it weeps a little, into a drift: A Kleincicle, stout as a thigh bone.
Seems the Epic Icicle is taxing the eaves. Posing a threat to anyone walking nearby—not unlike envy, frustration, an urge for revenge—sadly, my latest hobbies.
Must I really knock it down?
Better to first stamp a row of holes in the snow, little burial spots. (Sometimes I need a visual.) In goes envy. Then angst. Meanness. Hurt.
The snowflakes fall faster now. I fill in each void with a confession, a boot scuff: the lug sole of gratitude.
Ahhh, newness, white as snow.
Then I wield the shovel. Crack! Chunk by knobbly chunk, down she goes, the once-proud column in ruins.
Back indoors, that image of ruin stays with me.
In The Broken Way, Ann Voskamp writes: “Let love break into you and mess with you and loosen you up and make you laugh and cry and give and hurt because this is the only way to really live. . . . Don’t waste a minute on anything less . . .”
In other words: Kiss the curmudgeon! Serve up those Tums on a silver dish. Cut loose with a Bigfoot ballet and a sweeping bow. Squirrel away dish shards: make a mosaic later.
I don’t know about your day, or your past year, but I hit some rough terrain: cold, hard, heartsore places that blurred my outlook. Froze my hopes.
So lately, I’m leaning into a personal epiphany via this thought from Ann Voskamp (my paraphrase):
Every morning we get to rise (“get to?” . . . I get to rise).
God believes in us (now I’m speechless),
believes in His stories being written through us . . .
The Magi followed a chunk of ice screwed into the sky. A blinking Marquee bulb, proclaiming “Peace”—despite how often we’d break it.
Did those who searched the heavens for signs ever sense that Heaven believed in them, was writing the Story through them?
And after they knelt before their new God, beside those famous three gifts, I wonder what else they left behind.
What will you leave behind in this New Year?
What chosen word or phrase will guide you?