Is there really anything better than being at home in the warmth of a kitchen filled with the delicious aromas of pumpkin pies baking lazily in the oven, as you read a book about Abraham Lincoln to pass the time and sip on a cup of hot coffee between pages? At this very moment it really doesn’t seem like there is. There is a wonderful chill in the November air that awakens the senses and clears the mind. There is absolutely no sense of rush or irritability for the holiday tomorrow, only a great feeling of ease and leisure.
There are still apples to bake, turkeys to roast and cleaning to do; but a tranquil enjoyment veils it all; allowing the hustle and bustle that is sure to come with tomorrow’s feast iron itself into a seamless and smooth foreshadow.
The oven is letting me know that the last pumpkin pie can be taken from its hot belly and placed on the counter to cool. I stick a toothpick in its center and find it still has a few more minutes to go.
Joining my kids outside to breathe in the crisp afternoon air, we sit alongside the old weathered fence and allow the sun to warm us as promises of winter glide along the occasional, gentle breeze. It is quite easy to remember simpler times when every holiday must have felt this way. Before frenzy and panic became priority. Before a house was consumed with the mindless chatter of a television set, before shopping carts collided as last-minute patrons scrambled to buy forgotten items and replacement turkeys.
As in any journey, there should always be a calm before the storms of families and friends. It is this sense of ease and peacefulness I feel now. Indeed, it is something I have not felt in quite some time, especially during the holiday season. Yet, I have no doubt that it is that moment of complete solitude everyone should experience before you sit down to feast with others. We all need a moment of quiet in such a harried world, otherwise we are sure to lose whatever sanity we have left.
Where has life taken us that we have all but forgotten this great secret? Lost in a maze of excuses, I imagine.
Whether it is work or play, finances or company, or perhaps even the simple unease of having nothing to worry about all. Whatever we create to steal this gentle harmony away from ourselves is a crime. There will always be worry. There will always be time for play. Bills will not disappear and company comes and goes. It takes moments like these, when our mind is free, that we can truly focus on our own happiness and peace of mind in order to make it through the rest of our tomorrows. For has it not always been said that yesterday is but a dream and tomorrow only a myth? Today is all that counts.
This moment I am not worried about whether or not anyone will enjoy my pies. I will not lose sleep wondering if the turkey will be too dry or the caramelized apples too soggy. Neither will I fret over how many people will show up for dinner, nor will I weep over all the sales I will miss on Black Friday. Right now, this moment, I am completely happy; because my house smells of sweet pumpkin pie, my coffee is still hot and I am reading one of my favorite books ever written. True repose … Isn’t that what should really matter during any season?
Life will go on … whether the turkey is dry or not.