The songs are all wrong, as far as I can tell, cause the nights around here are certainly not silent. Peace, in the form of non-chaos, well, there’s none of that to be found and if that’s what it takes to have ‘holy’ then we’re not getting any of it this season. Here’s what I do know, though. We had a moment the other day in which I bellowed out, “If only I could take a picture that would encapsulate this moment!!” But I couldn’t. A picture wouldn’t have done it justice. It was chaos and it was, in my world, a beautiful and loud kind of holy. It went a little something like this. Picture it, would you?
The dishes from lunch are still piled on the counter as there are too many for one little, old dishwasher to hold. Friends are at hand and we’re not going to worry about those just now. There is too much catching up and pondering and debating to be done. Yes, those can stay just right there for now. The smells of salsa and beans still whirl their way up my nose as I pass by the sink and my tummy is fully satisfied and almost gives a sigh at the smell. It was delicious.
We’ve moved from the dining room table where it was cold and just too fancy for this day, to the kitchen. There are island stools to be sat on and benches along the kitchen table to pull out as the warmth from the wood burning fire place wraps around our toes.
Christmas baking has been pulled out of the freezer from gigantic tupperware containers and heaped onto a plate in a sort of decorative way but more piled strategically to get just as many onto one plate as humanly possible. The piles are arranged by type, sugar cookies, chocolate crinkles, gingerbread. These ones over here are all gluten-free, except the peppernuts. The jar of peppernuts is filled with gluten-y goodness. We start to munch long before anything has thawed and so there is a crunch to our ways and crumbs making their way onto sweaters and countertops and of course, the floor.
Little hands reach up onto the table to grab another cookie when a most attentive dad asks, “Did you ask ma if you could have another?” “I did!!” The little proclaims and runs away happily munching off the head of a gingerbread boy and giggling about it. Someone has added Christmas music to the background. A country sort of number with deep vocals and the comforting strum of an acoustic guitar. We decide to play a game. Yes! A game. That’s what this moment needs.
We walk around gathering dice and paper and pens, all the while little crumby bits sticking to the bottoms of our socks. We make tea and grind coffee and it takes a good amount of time to get everyone just what they need before we all sit down and gather ’round the table. Children sing to the music in the background and dice begin to roll and somebody yells out, “It’s your turn!” to the little that had to go to the bathroom.
The smallest child wants a turn so he rolls a dice and does nothing else but we all cheer and tell him how great he is as he proclaims, “I win!” It doesn’t take long for children to get bored with out chattering over the game and they leave their scores to go and play.
This is when it happened. The magical moment when I knew that peace doesn’t come from silence or holiness from orderly people all dressed to the nine’s while sitting in perfect rows. It comes from right here!
When there are dirty dishes heaped on counters and scents of lunch and dessert and coffee all coming together. It comes from the sound of dice being rolled and grown ups laughing until tears at their inability to smack a perfect high five. It comes from crumbs on the floor and little children running in circles around the island while screaming and roaring at each other at decibels far beyond what one might think holiness should be!
It was chaos. Loud and messy and perfect. It was a moment of holy and I knew it right then and there.