It is the last day of the old year and my husband, daughter and I have managed to escape to our cottage for a few days. I am sitting at the long dining table, looking though the window at the gray clouds and occasional snowflakes, eating a piece of toast with cherry preserves.
Nena is sitting across the table, sipping coffee, working on one of her stories. Jeff has a bad cold and is lying in bed, reading. Nena’s dog, Flaika, is curled up on the couch, napping. It is a blustery cold winter morning.
Here at the cottage we feel strikingly removed from the outside world. Here, we rarely listen to news and it is almost possible to pretend that all is quiet and at peace, that everyone is cared for and cherished.
The three of us spend hours reading, or writing or watching movies. I am making a quilt for a friend’s baby, due in March. Nena is working on a beautiful floral needlepoint, its subdued colors reminiscent of Italian pre-Renaissance paintings. We take afternoon naps.
Yesterday, Nena, Flaika and I took a long walk along the lake shore. The day was sunny but cold, so we dressed in our warmest coats. Flaika wore her red, turtleneck sweater. The bitter wind made Nena and me pull up the scarves over our faces but Flaika wasn’t bothered by it at all. In fact, the wind seemed to propel her forward as she shot out like a cannon ball, running on the white sand with careless abandon.
By the time we got home we were tired and wet. I made cups of peppermint tea, then we each huddled under a warm blanket. Flaika slept by my feet while we all read until dusk. And even after the twilight shadows deepened, we lingered for a long time, reluctant to disturb the tranquility of the moment.
I wish you many such moments of happiness, peace and tranquility in the New Year.Flaika, enjoying the afternoon.