This liminal space between Christmas and New Year feels like a gap in time. Like I'm between worlds. If you're aware of numerology, you probably know that 2016 was a "9" year, which means an ending. And, 2017 is a "1" year, which is a new beginning. But, it doesn't feel like a normal ending and beginning, it feels like more than that, it has a deeper gravitas to it; not so much like the end of another year, but the end of an era.
I'm feeling some sadness for what has gone, for what will never be the same again, for what is irretrievable; and, some excitement for what's coming, the unknown, the unforeseeable. I'm grateful for this week of quiet interlude in which to rest and reflect. Uzes is very tranquil and fewer than usual amounts of people walk the streets. Most of the restaurants and lots of the shops are closed now. It's cold and clear and the wind is blowing. The trees are bare and everything seems like its hibernating. This is the Uzes I love.
The older I get, the more I love the winter. When I was young, I loved the sun, the heat and the activity of summer. Fall has always been my most favorite time of year, but summer held great resonance. Now, it's fall and winter that speak to me the most. I enjoy the cold, in a way I didn't when I was younger. I like the internal nature of winter. The starkness of it. The essential bareness. There is a rhythm of life and seasons that I'm connecting into here that I've been missing for a long, long time. Modern life, in all its relentlessness, can blind us to the natural rhythms of life. To find those rhythms, to feel them and flow with them is a great gift.
This move to a new country has required a certain amount of focus and study...new language, new ways of doing things, new people, new everything...and, this much newness takes a lot of energy. This week I have no classes or anything that has to be done, which is a wonderful relief. I've spent time with friends and allowed myself to just sit and enjoy the open space of not having to do anything or be anywhere. I've started to focus some energy in a new direction in terms of my living space. For those of you who know me well, to say that it feels like time to move again will come as no surprise. It hasn't been my plan, and it still might not happen, but I'm looking. After a year in my current space, as much as I love it, things have been revealed that either need to be addressed and amended, or a move needs to happen. I'm not sure which it will be yet, but looking at some other housing options has been interesting. I'll stay in Uzes, but am looking for quieter and cooler.
I love to bake. It's a very relaxing and soothing thing to do. I just took the last few chocolate snowball cookies out of the oven to cool and the apartment smells delicious. Laundry is going through its cycles in the washing/drying machine, the sound of which is punctuating the afternoon. I'm looking forward to cleaning the floor...yes, looking forward to it...weird, I know. There are days I can't think about the floor, but today I'm looking forward to interacting with it. Today, I'm feeling grateful to this floor that supports me so beautifully in my life here, and I want it to be clean and shining. The dust bunnies try to hide themselves in the corners, but they aren't safe for long.
The soft light of mid-winter angles in the windows and shines patterns of brightness on the wall where no art but the art of life makes it mark. For the first time in many years, my walls remain blank white canvases. The open space of them invites contemplation and rest. Sophie, my most beloved cat companion, sleeps on her warm electrical pad that I've recently bought her and slipped into her favorite cat bed on the sofa. She's barely been off of it since it arrived. It's so satisfying to give someone a gift they enjoy so much, cat or human. Today is one of those days when I'm very aware of the simple richness of my life. Today is a day when gratitude has taken over and pushed everything else aside. Today my heart is at peace. Today I'm aware that all is well. Today the absolute brilliance of Life in all its forms shines upon me, and it's good. It's enough. It's more than enough.