My drive to the college is beautiful. I get to meander along two rivers - a small country river that takes me almost from my house to the college, then after, five minutes of asphalt, I come face to face with the majesty of the St Lawrence which I follow to the campus.
This morning, both these rivers were silver. Not shiny, but more a pewter silver, reflecting the snow clouds above, and looking icy and hard with the slanting, sharp snow that was coming down. Not falling - far less gentle than that - but beautiful none-the-less.
Rivers are peaceful., and as I drove, I initially thought about how paradoxical it was to be faced with a peaceful river when my mind is so busy. Christmastime is a crazy time for so many of us, and this year, that has never been so true for me. I envied the river. But only for a moment.
Because immediately afterwards, I realised that I like being busy this time of year. I like having friends to greet, family to shop for, excitement to harness, cookies to bake, a tree to decorate. I keep things pretty low key in general, but there is still plenty to be done, but it struck me that it's all part of the excitement of the season. I'm thankful for it. Thankful to have to be rushing around because it means I have a reason to do so. Thankful to have to bake because that act to me represents all the love and friendship and cheer that is present in our lives.
There is a fine line between consumer frenzy and Christmassy hustle and bustle, but the overall pace of December is one of the things I actually like. Most of the time, at least.
And in January, well, the peace of the silver rivers will still be there then, too.