Monday, December 5, 2011

Comfort and Joy

It’s interesting to discover what brings me comfort after the loss of my sister-in-law.

Every morning – usually before I intended to wake up – one of my cats (Herbie) finds a way to snuggle as close as possible to at least one of my hands and lies there, purring and warm.

And after breakfast, the other cat (Guinness) and I routinely have a play session as he ‘helps’ me make my bed.

My bed is on the east side of the house so the Colorado sun warms us both. Sunshine always helps.

And cholesterol. Cheese has always been a downfall. Now even more so. And Friday, while doing my regular shopping, I actually bought half a pound of bacon. I had bacon (and a egg) for breakfast on Saturday and Sunday. It felt quite luxurious. And comforting.

Oh and music. I made myself go to a concert Saturday. At one point, I closed my eyes and just absorbed the harmonies. The healing was perceptible.

And in this time of diminishing light I have created a kaleidoscope of supplements: my Christmas tree, the outside lights, the back window lights, the study lights. And every single one of them helps.

Hugs. Of course. There is a member of my congregation whose husband is rapidly deteriorating. She comes to church, she says, as much for the hugs as for the message. Now I do too.

Friends. Friends who reach out with a phone call or an email or a hug or an invitation for lunch or a card. Each of them weaves a strand in the net that holds me up when sorrow threatens to overwhelm.

Beauty. There was hoarfrost Friday morning. Absolutely astounding. And the prisms that dance in my dining room when the morning light catches the crystals in the east window or those that dance when the afternoon light hits those in a west window. The light of a waxing moon on the snow.

All these things (except perhaps the bacon) are components of my life -- in times of loss and in times of celebration.

Perhaps if each of us were to just pay attention, we could find an abundance of things to bring us comfort and joy.

May it be so.

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