The Secret of Life

My neighbor has her Christmas lights up. In fact, she put them up on Thanksgiving Day; their twinkling merriment taunted me as we rolled in from grandma’s house that evening. My resin pilgrims stare at me from the sofa table as I write, and I am reminded of just how unprepared I am for the holiday.

We have done a little traveling over this week of break. Nothing extravagant, just a couple short trips to keep life interesting. Being away from home means, of course, that nothing at home gets done. As we pulled into the driveway this afternoon, I felt an ominous dread fall over me. A burgeoning to do list passed over me like a dark cloud. Any sense of freedom or relaxation I had gained from our quick jaunt to Columbus was lost in a sudden panic of all that needed to be done.

After the usual suspects were taken care of (unpacking, laundry, etc.), I decided to head outdoors. There was a glorious blanket of leaves all over our front lawn that was hopelessly passé. Besides, my neighbor’s Christmas lights were creating an annoying glare off of their colorful surface.

I began my task in secret, determined not to arouse the natives. This tribe is known for their determined urges to jump in large piles of leaves, thus negating hours of backbreaking work. Sure enough, like a hound on the trail, he sniffed me out. As soon as I had gathered a significant fold of bounty….crash! He came out of nowhere, scattering my toilsome labor everywhere!

It wasn’t long before we were joined by his big brother, and then, all was lost.

There was such a flurry of color and tree debris as we’ve rarely seen in these parts. Well, not since last year around this time. Come to think of it, when I finally got around to raking last year, I think Diane had her Christmas lights up then too.

The boys absolutely adore playing in a pile of leaves. And I adore watching them. It doesn’t feel like that long ago when it was me and my siblings doing the same.

And I remember how much fun it was.

The looming to do list floated away. Oh, it’s still out there, mind you, but for now, we’ve held it at bay. James Taylor has it right: The Secret of Life is Enjoying the Passage of Time.

We might get our Christmas lights up this year. Then again, we might not. But we’ll have a lot of fun not doing it.


  1. says

    I just finished reading Lysa TerKeurkerst’s blog.
    You can catch up with her through the web site and click her devotion for today. She is inviting her fellow bloggers to leave a comment, enter a drawing, and offer a donation for her drawings. I am offering my doggie’s DVD for children complete with his paw print! Anyway – it may be a great spot to promote your book by offering to give one away!
    As always – love to read your stuff!

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