Fred and I were discussing the lunar eclipse coming tonight, and tomorrow's Winter Solstice, a holy night. I was in bed, wrapped in quilts, because I'm cold.
Don't laugh, because the doings of CRPS are mysterious, but ever since sustaining a fairly deep puncture wound to my right big toe yesterday, I have been unable to get warm! I cannot figure it out and even with fleece on, and a hoody, under two quilts topped by a thick blanket? I am chilled to the bone. The ultimate proof is that I upped the thermostat two degrees -- something that I am loathe to do under most any circumstances because that's a bill that always bites...
So we are talking dark, and light, and cold, and night, and I am shivering.
"Ring-a-ling-a-ling" from the delivery door -- the one just *under* the drawbridge, hardly noticeable to most visitors but a real boon to UPS and mail carriers, as it cuts their time spent dealing with Manor deliveries way down. It's actually a smallish dutch-doored entryway into a former winesap cellar that has been converted into a mailroom that Captain Haddock insists be fully staffed (even on weekends and holidays). I guess that privilege has its reasons, or vice-versa, and no obligation to explain itself to me, but I have recently decided to divert the staff dedicated to sitting in receipt of the odd package or two, and installed a chime to notify us of arrivals. This has freed up an extra pair of hands for use in wassail-making, fire-tending, nog-spiking, and so on.
But it also means that Fred has to set off at a fast-paced jog in answer to any broadcasted ring-a-ling-ling or risk incurring the wrath of various men and women in uniform, all in an incredible rush at this time of year.
We get very little personal mail and even fewer unexpected boxes.
So it was kind of neat to see Fred so laden down, to tell the truth! He unceremoniously dumped the surprising armful on the bed -- ignoring the red and white FRAGILE labels.
Three huge, overstuffed manilla envelopes, two medium-sized boxes, all with return addresses like Davidson Lighting, Crystal Clear Images, Lucca...
I was perplexed, not able to match up these names and addresses, wanting to master them even in this season where the sudden and unexpected are most likely to be joys. Fred watched my frustration with a growing version of his own and wordlessly handed me a pair of scissors, urging me to get on with it. He hasn't had his coffee yet.
Do you remember The Boxes that my brother TW and I agreed to send each other? He sent me several and you can read about them here, and also here. Oh, and here as well! It all began a year ago:
A few weeks back, thinking it would be a way to save money and be a marvelous gift, I asked my two brother-units for used copies of the two books that had been the most formative to the person they each have become.
Grader Boob declined.
Tumbleweed, a stranger to me, took on the task with more compassion, generosity, and insight than I could ever deserve. Three such Gifts he sent me, each box laden with small things imbued with larger meaning from his life. Three occasions of grace.
This year, I changed the rules... I reverted. I failed to grow. I went backward. Down with The Crud and using it as an excuse, I sent him a gift card. I knew he would be disappointed in me, despite my honoring his atheism with a card celebrating the more natural, the more believable, the equally magical solstice. I almost hoped he would forget about me this year.
Instead, he's put the light back in my eyes.
Prisms. He sent me prisms, and prisms, and more prisms. Small ones, medium, large ones. Simple ones and endlessly facetted ones. Seventeen of them. (Seventeen as of now, anyway!)
The last time a total lunar eclipse fell on the winter solstice was in 1638 but there has never been a brother so in tune with a sister's dark nights, so confident in the power of the simple and the true. It makes me happy to know, and I do know it, that my obsidian hours do not trouble his heart.
I am continually humbled by TW, a wonderful thing. I have several deals ongoing with the Lord of the Universe, all pertaining to humility. In general, I am to be richly rewarded once I achieve Total Humility (and yes, I do find myself laughable!). Who knew that all I needed was the return of this long lost boy and the complete submergence of my confidence that he was the one who needed finding?
TW, I love you.
|Image from crystalinks: Pairs of Crystal Prisms of Consciousness Create Harmonic Grids|