I'm already cranky as I head out to the grocery store at 9:00 at night to get milk and bread. Younger Progeny - who works at the grocery store - forgot to take her wallet and the car wasn't available until she got home at dinnertime. So I'm not in the best mood and my barometer slips even lower as I realize that we are the only people in the neighborhood who still have our Christmas lights on. It's just now the 12th day of Christmas and - for most people - it's over, done, finis, packed up, swept away, don't bother me until next year. I suppose I can kind of understand - with the red and green decorations coming out before we've put away the orange and black ones, I guess there are those who are heartily sick of it by now. Not me, obviously. For me, it seems like the season whizzed past like those flapping calendar pages in an old time movie. And not just this season. The last ten years or so it's seemed like some celestial film operator has been running the movie of my life in double or quadruple time. Those calendar pages are zipping by so fast that if they had cartoons on the corner of each page I'd have my own personal moving picture show.
I want them to SLOW DOWN. Our girls have turned overnight from snarky 13 year olds to graceful, wonderful almost-adults. Graduation is breathing heavily right around the corner, and I am NOT READY. Being a mom, a home maker in the truest sense of the word, has been my whole life for almost 20 years. I enjoyed teaching, and I was darn good at it, but my real life started the day the nurse came around the corner and said, "It's positive!" and Spouse and I started to cry. The six years of Infertility Wars seemed to take forever, but this - this went by too fast.
I was brooding on this as I drove through the darkened streets, the cheerful lights of Christmas just a memory now, and the cheerful light of small children felt almost as far away. Then I glimpsed it. The blazing white cross on the hill. When the neighborhoods were full of color, it still stood out but now, in the darkness, I could see it from a long way away. The light blazed into the dark corners of my mind, as well, lighting them up and reminding me that this - THIS is constant. This doesn't whiz past or go away.
I can't see the cross for very long when I 'm driving down the road, but the memory of it stays with me. "Count on Me," it seems to say. "I will bring you through it."