“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


Almost There: I Take a Breath

The boxes and boxes and boxes and boxes
and boxes
of Christmas cards have been delivered.

The pile of paperwork waiting to be filed
can now be filed.
All the paperwork of the last 10 days
still lurks around my desk
in other piles,
but also ready to be filed.

A few odds and ends left to catch up.

There will be phone calls for last minute gifts -
there always are -
last minute forgetfullnesses to be corrected.
But the quietness that settles in at this time of year
has arrived.
I will not hurry to work on jobs not due until after Christmas,
indeed not due until spring semester begins.
I will take my time.

With this sudden done!
comes the exhaustion I have been fighting all fall;
I slept until almost 10 this morning,
rushing to get to work
though I knew it made little difference.
There are a few things still to finish,
but just a few.

This is the first year I can remember
not having any Christmas gifts bought or made,
the first year I can remember
not having yet sent out Christmas cards,
seriously thinking I may send New Year's cards instead.

My muscles have that twitchiness of too much work
suddenly over,
not knowing what to do with stillness.
I couldn't sleep last night,
could not sleep,
so gave up and dealt with laundry,
changed the sheets on the bed,
watched Craig Ferguson,
read blogs and played Tripeaks
until at last I could relax.
Hence the being late this morning.

No Christmas tree at the house,
the Emma Tree here at work
still displaying burnt out bulbs.
I have no ideas for presents,
I am idea'd out, empty,
and there is a package to go to upstate Michigan
still woefully almost-empty.

But this quiet time is here,
this actually almost-sad time,
a melancholy that settles in when we finish for the season.
This year a melancholy over the already here melancholy.
A day or two of leaving on time
or even early
will help put me in the shopping mood,
will find me putting up a tree,
however small.
Wrapping paper will begin to appeal to me again.

Cold today, and gray.
We move towards the end of shorter days.


  1. I've had little sleep these nights too..was up at 4 this morning and tossed and turned till I finally got up...only to finally go back to bed 2 hours later for a little morning nap. Uggh.

    But I have also not been sleeping as much lately, thanks to YOU. And Craigy. I can't get enough of that guy. And he is on WAY too late, and I bargain with myself, saying, well, I can sleep in in the mornings..don't have to work till the afternoon, so why not?
    My inner clock is all wonky now.
    (but he's just so adorable)

    So glad you are now able to relax a bit and melt into the quiet. It's such a satisfying feeling isn't it? When you have worked so hard, and can finally drop your shoulders and say, *I'm done*

  2. how do you know what to write? it means so much as i read it from where i am where ideas are few and melancholy knocks..tree stands empty and all i can do is cut little brown birds...

  3. Damn. Relaxation can be hard. I definetly understand (or rather see) where you are coming from.

  4. This post brought back memories of my days as a music teacher and church organist/choir director. This time of year CAN BE VERY STRESSFUL....sometimes very challenging to find balance.

  5. Jaime - Thank God for Craig!

    elk - That sounds like a poem. tree stands empty and all i can do . . " You have birds, I have words. xoxo

    SS - Crazy, crazy always this time of year. but it's been crazy and tough leading up to this time, making it all the harder to catch my breath. Thanks for stopping by.

    Merry Christmas all!
    :) Debi

  6. Sue - Oh. man. I can imagine! I just attended my niece's band concert at school, and the director thought it was over when there was still one song still to be played - LOL! I'm sure he was exhausted!

    :) Debi

  7. Oh, my relief won't come until 4pm on xmas eve when I am sprung from retail hell. Then the falling asleep at the family dinner table. I am waiting breathlessly for the 26th and the sleeping in 'til whenever.

    You, there, in unwind mode, do send me some energy and prayers that I don't beat anyone senseless with my floral designer's accouterments. Death by carnation would not be pretty.


  8. the shorter days are starting to take their toll on me. instead of sleeping more, i find myself wanting to sleep less, hoping that i can make the day last longer than mother nature can.

    i hope you can put the work aside and get some ideas for gifts. we live in such a world of technology that it's hard to seek out the simple joyful things amongst the flashing and the blaring...


come. sit under the emma tree & let's talk. i have cookies . . .