December 15th, 2006
the book is finished.
aside from a few minor changes. and i am starting to feel as if i am being released from it’s grasp. winded. stretched. needing some time to just be. there is much to tell about it later, it was written two years ago this january, rejected six times until it found the right publisher. then two of my manuscripts were accepted basically in the same month. I revised them both over the summer, and since september I have done over 400 illustrations (on top of moving accross the country and not moving into a home for two months). i can’t believe it myself.
the wolf and i go for a walk this morning and it is almost as if i am feeling the wind on my skin for the first time in months. we traipse through the neighborhood and the grounds at the castle, picking up pine boughs that broke off during a recent storm. the first breath of christmas enters my lungs, and i throw the branches over my shoulder. they bounce behind us as we make the journey home. the wolf being a work dog keeps looking up at me and the branches to make sure everything is in line, it is his job to oversee any work that occurs. and i feel like we are a team. partners in harvesting the christmas spirit, in the form of ‘found’ decorations.
i have become accustomed to having this white being at my side on my travels. we are alone for the weekend and I plan for the two of us to decorate the house, listen to x-mas music (lucky for the wolf that he is deaf so he won’t have to hear me sing along at the top of my lungs), read some good books, and bake a little.
we place the boughs on the porch and go inside to warm up some lunch. i have been listening to CBC Newfoundland lately broadcast on the internet. today is a phone in show about people reminiscing about the x-mas wishbook (catalogues), in canada it was the Simpsons/Sears catalogue whose three inch thick x-mas edition was coveted and fought over by children nationwide. while listening to the thick newfie accent of some of the callers, I am overcome with such a strong feeling of missing my mom and nana at this time of year. the tears fall uncontrollably. they were always busy knitting, sewing and baking. x-mas was always homemade for us and had little to do with stores and shopping.
i cannot recall a x-mas as a child that I wasn’t surrounded by fabric scraps and wool for months before. i’ve written before about the handmade socks in the stocking, and slippers and the thick flannel p.j.’s. and the food. all cooked on a big black woodstove. a steamed carrot pudding with a white rum sauce. just thinking about it makes me teary.
no matter how much i try, i cannot get into a christmas that is about going to stores and having to buy things that people don’t really want or need. just give me my crochet hook and some paper scraps.