“… that sanguine expectation of happiness, which is happiness itself.” (Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility)
Always, this time of year fills me up like a water balloon, so full of wonder and anticipation that my seams could explode. I am fond of tradition, holidays, ceremony, meals, gifts, decoration and anything that is heralded as “special” or “festive.” I can credit this in part to my disposition, and in part to my upbringing in which my parents, especially my mom, made a to-do of things, I know now, for our sakes. She was good at making days and seasons feel like monuments.
Mark and I have just begun planning a trip to celebrate our five year wedding anniversary in the Spring and suddenly I find myself waking up with that singular feeling of anticipation. It isn’t that I don’t look forward to the holidays this year, I do! But it isn’t quite the same as it once was. I am not a child, and now I intimately know the real stresses and fears and disquiets of being an adult, a mother, a spouse, a HOME OWNER.
But a vacation. A trip out of this landlocked city with my best friend. No baby, no dog, no work, no lawn, no Y, no dishes, no cleaning supplies, no clutter, no schedule, no responsibility. We are going to NEW YORK CITY (yes, Bradley.) and it is going to be incredible. When we were in the period of trying to get pregnant with Jack we took a five day trip to New York in the winter. It was the most deliriously perfect time of our entire lives. We ate out, shopped, walked for miles, people watched, hunted Cannolis, were entertained on Broadway, sat on the site of my favorite movie of all time (You’ve Got Mail – Cafe Lalo). We did everything that we wanted to do and when our plane touched down in Raleigh afterward I cried. I think I actually mourned. It was this one brilliant spot in a year of dismal gray.
This time we are going in the Spring. It will be warm and I already have a list of musts, and the thing that I keep relishing is this: For me, the trip has already begun to work its magic. The anticipation of it, this loose planning stage, looking forward to those easy going days away has already lightened me. I know that after Christmas, in the long dreary days of winter, I will be anticipating seeing the City, dreaming about it, growing high expectations which some may call dangerous, but I call sublime because for me the experience starts now.
Jane Austen’s words are the truth. My favorite verse in Scripture is Ecclesiastes 3:11 because it affirms this base aspect of my spirit: “He has put eternity into man’s heart…” So we are always longing for eternity, and also already within it. And these glimpses of the good stuff are small evidences of that.
In the spirit of consistency, I must add that Sunday Jack turned 8 months old. The Sunday before that he was baptized and it was a sweet day, reminding me of his spirit, and the hope I have for him to grow up to know Jesus and the Kingdom of God. For him to have this eternity in his heart. Here are some pictures of him from lately.
Jack the Garden Gnome for Halloween…