By this time, unless you’re a horrible Grinch or slacker, you have some lights up, some decorations spattered on the door, and pine needles ground into your carpet. Maybe the cloying smell of paperwhites is filling a closet, or mulling wine spices are waiting for just the right moment? Whatever your own traditions, mine include a great exhale at the end of each year, a chance to pause after crossing the finish to look around and see where I’ve come. Last night I picked up Number Two from daycare and instead of going in we stayed outside to look at the sunset and let the evening settle in. It sounds so unremarkable but turned out to be a special time, as the warmth of the day seeped away with the color in the sky. We didn’t want to come in, him especially, as he pulled the wagon around the yard then let me pull him as he made engine revving noises. We circumambulated the yard, skating by the lights on the fence, rounded the tree, bumped over unseen clumps and berms in the dusk, and crushed the mint by the garden. Around and around the yard we went until the sky went dark and the moon pressed through a fuzzy moist scrim of fog and then it was nighttime. Take time during the holiday break to do something a little different. Put off a chore for half an hour. Don’t rush from one place to the next but take time to exhale and look up. The sky might be more magnificent than you remember.
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