By Susie Finkbeiner
We are a people attracted to the sensational. Loud news items and shocking trends. I grow weary of it. Do you, too? The sensational has come to feel coarse to me, to sound as a crashing cymbal. This holiday season I’m zooming in. I’m allowing myself to relish the sensual as opposed to the sensational.
I’m tuning my senses to the joy of this time.
To breathe in the scents of the holidays. Cinnamon rolls baking in the oven. Fresh cut fir tree by the picture window. It’s rich, this aroma, helping to carve the memories of this time into the mind and (more importantly) the heart.
I’m tasting the delicacy of this season. Sweet sugar cookies decorated by careful hands with icing that melts on the tongue. Sipping smooth coffee to warm both body and soul. Enjoying savory meals at a too full table, knowing it’s less about the food and more about the company. The flavor that lingers, the one that stays, is the knowing that we share in life while we sit and eat. That knowing makes us full, indeed.
Listening, I hear the music of the holidays. Hearty laughter over stories shared. A favorite carol or two. The way the snow crunches under booted foot. Well wishes and merry making. Is there a better symphony than these?
My eyes open to the sights around me, I delight in what I see. Shoes piled by the front door belonging to those come to celebrate. Flicker of candle light, softness of snow. Glitter covered ornament, handmade, by the smallest of artists. Wide smiles and sparkling eyes. Such beauty to behold.
I reach out my hands, hoping to touch, to feel. Gentle fall of snowflake on upturned face. Hot mug of tea between cupped hands. A head on a shoulder, an arm around a waist. The sticky, candy cane kiss on the cheek from a small one up past bedtime. It’s a feeling of comfort, the touch of home. It leaves us content, happy, smiling.
Collecting all these sensations, I hold them near. I tuck them away in a safe place. These memories, these beautiful moments, will carry me through another year. They will give me hope, shine light in dark days. When I call them to mind, they will pull my lips upward and spark relief in my heart.
This year I reject the sensational. This year I choose joy.
BIO: Susie Finkbeiner is the bestselling author of A Cup of Dust as well as My Mother’s Chamomile and Paint Chips. She is a wife, a mother, and a faithful Chaco wearer. She lives in the beauty of West Michigan.
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