The rest of the world - away from the mid-Atlantic states - goes on as usual. Christmas shopping, concerts, shows, church services. But here in Virginia, DC and north and south of here, we are stuck. Time has slowed, stood still almost. Except for our connection to the world through the internet and television, we are still and isolated.
And it is a blessing beyond belief.
I cannot recall the last time I had this much uninterrupted space. From the kids, who had already intended to spend the weekend with their dad; from the phone. From work. From stress in general. No temptation to go out, because I cannot.
Focused time on that which has been begging for attention for weeks. Months, even. I folded six baskets of clothes that I am ashamed to admit had sat in my bedroom for longer than I can remember. We'd been rifling through the baskets for socks, jeans, shirts, underwear. Now the baskets are empty and the clothes are folded, put away in my room and waiting for the kids to do the same when they get home. The kitchen is clean. The pile of papers - excuse me, the three piles of papers and books - that had occupied my bedroom floor are now filed and put away. I vacuumed. I dusted.
I wrapped gifts, excited about some of the surprises under the tree.
My favorite elf showed up with some of Bob Pino's chili, still warm. Delicious.
I invited the elf in, and we ate Raisinets and watched The Proposal. Sweet movie. We both cried at the end.
The gentle quiet of the day brought a peace that I've not experienced in a long time. Too long. I have been given a gift. The timing is impeccable.
Tomorrow, we will not have church. I am disappointed. I feel out of sorts. It's odd to have a Saturday night that isn't brimming with anticipation for the next morning's worship experience. But in the midst of the disappointment in the altering of our usual plans, I'm a little excited. I wonder what the morning might bring.
I expect to find that I'll worship in some new and different way. I intend to do so, in fact. Not sure what it will involve yet, but first and foremost, I will thank God for the gift of time - a long, luxurious, uninterrupted span of over 36 hours.
What a gift.