Arms full of sheets warm from the dryer, I slow down and listen to the jazz voice of Melody Gardot. Yes, the new year has already brought this new voice – to signal, it seems, new moods. The songs I hear from two rooms away may be more late Friday night than Saturday morning. What is most important, though, is that the sound is January rather than December.
No easy or sensitive memories here. No Christmas darkness, no childhood lights. It is possible to walk out from under the weight of keeping the season and keeping it well.
I approach the bedroom this Saturday morning and start to make the bed. For the first time in a number of weeks there is no table-top tree, no ornaments to acknowledge when I fit flannel around the corners of the mattress. Smoothing the wool blanket over the top-sheet is a clean pleasure. Folding over the blanket’s top edge and aligning the red-and-brown-and-green woolen plaids feels as healthy as a solid night’s sleep in a mountain cabin.
A look around the room at task’s end brings the reassurance customary for a Saturday morning. Today it brings as well that particular January relief when decoration is over. Framed photographs have been returned to their places on bureau and window-sill.
House plants turn to the light.
Heart wakes to jazz.