The sun just came out. It is 10° outside and completely still after blowing like crazy all morning. This angry day turned its mouth up into a smile and suddenly my heart is glad. I can see the heat from the baseboard rising in tiny waves before the south-facing bay window where two cats are napping oblivious to the tiny shadows of brave birds who are flitting from tree to tree celebrating the light.
Sunlight dances off of the advent gift bags hanging in the same bay window, remnants of a time of family celebration when my youngest climbed up on the back of the couch and dug the gifts out for that day. The tree is still up and mostly decorated, stripped of its delicious candy canes which treated each of us for days after all the wrapping paper had been bagged up, the gifts had been sorted and everyone who doesn’t live here had gone home. Charlotte’s hand ornament reminds me of her laughter and fussy times, of Katie sitting on my couch watching holiday specials while chatting on her laptop and making plans with her friends. Some of that holiday spirit still lingers now that the sun has come out and splashes upon the wall and creeps toward the sparkly garland on the tree. The cookies are all gone, the fudge was consumed ages ago, and no leftovers remain from Christmas dinner; but the joy of having most of my family here remains.
These memories are echoes of the holidays.