Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Today is a cool and rainy day...but not feeling like the depressing, sad or frustrating kind...but just the kind that makes you want to cozy up with a cup of tea and a candle. It also makes me want to sit at my piano and just play and and sing and pour out my heart. Oh, and snuggle with my dog. As I thought a moment on the randomness of all those things, and yet how they somehow go together in my mind, the common thread was 'comfort'. All those things, for reasons of their own are my comforts.

 A cup of tea and a candle... Growing up, I was surrounded by family. Literally. My mom is one of six kids, and my dad is one of four. Somehow, it managed to work out that as adults, two of my mom's sisters, and one of my dad's all owned homes on the same block as ours. It seemed 'far' to Grandma's house (one mile away) in comparison. Thinking back, I realize how totally cool all that is, though I never gave it much of a thought as a kid...it was just my normal. Part of normal was sitting with my mom and aunts to 'visit' over a 'cup of tea'...a time I remember as being particularly calming and soothing. Seems Aunt Kay always had a little candle burning on the table, and she always treated us, even as little kids, like important and special guests. She would ask questions about our day, about school...pretty much anything and nothing, and even though we saw her lots (our backyards did meet, after all), and it wasn't a special occasion, somehow it always felt special.

My piano, over the years, has become my 'centering place'.  It's more about the music than the instrument, I think, because I didn't even learn to play the piano until after I was married.  Still, whenever I need to focus my thoughts, or stop of the spinning of the swirl of life, I head for the piano.  These days, my family room, where the piano is, happens to be a complete chaotic nightmare, because, frankly, our house is too small, and due to lack of storage, things are spilling over, and that's where they spill to.  All of our games are there, our bookshelves, desks, treadmill, bins of 'stuff' that got moved out from the boys' room while I work on painting and redecorating in there, and stacks of homeschooling portfolios that I've yet to be able to bring myself to part with, even though I know I'm being ridiculous to hold on to them, when I just don't have the space.  It's like an obstacle course to even get to the piano (which now has driven me nuts just enough that after I'm done with this post, I think it's time to try to remedy...yet again...which will probably last for another week or two...*sigh*).  In any case, I picked my way there this morning to let the music sooth and refocus me.  I don't know why it does...I'm guessing just because that's what God has written into my DNA.  And maybe because whenever it was naptime, my mom used to put on a bunch of soothing records (yes, I admit to being old enough to remember records, and the ginormous console that took up most of our living room to play them on).  I also remember even as a child, one of my favorite things to do was just to be alone on my bed with an old hymnal that we had, and I would sit and sing through the old songs, verse by verse.  Music somehow effects us (or, at least, me) on a level that manages to get past all the mental clutter and hang ups, and just soothes the soul.

As for the dog...well, I'm just an animal person.  Or, at least, a dog person.  Well, a big dog person...I'm not a fan of the little yappers.  I've always had a big dog, and it just seems that they are so intuitive, and can sense when you need love.  And they're always ready to oblige.  Even when I'm cranky, or just yelled at them.  Even when I'm feeling most unpersonable and burned out on 'people'...an issue I have a lot.  Dogs don't care...they just lay around waiting for you to want them...and I like that.  Call it a character flaw, if you want, that I selfishly want something that I can largely ignore, and then demand affection from, but hey...wasn't it nice of God to create animals for us who are totally okay with that?  It's a nice break from all the give-and-take required in human relationships...but I digress.  Dogs...I think that will be my next post...

So tell me, what are your comforts?

photo credit
photo credit

1 comment:

Laura Johnson said...

My comforts:
Music- I like to just put on a CD or pandora... I don't play anything.
Snuggles- I never realized how comforting it could be to hold your baby on your chest until I had my own baby.
Talking- getting my feeling and worries off my chest. Sharing my heart.