"The Angel's Song," an attainable ideal (maybe?)

My friend Nancy sends me the most wonderful quotes. She collect them, filling a library of blank books. Three years ago she sent me this quote. It's called "The Angel's Song."

"I shall attend to my little errands of love early this year, that the brief days before Christmas may be unhampered and clear of the fever of hurry. The breathless rushing that I have known in the past should not posess me. I shall be calm in my soul and ready at last for Christmas, 'the mass of Christ.' I shall kneel and call out his name. I shall take time to watch the beautiful light of a candle flame. I shall have leisure. I shall go out alone from my roof and door. I shall not miss the silver stars as I have before and oh, perhaps, if I stand there very still and very long, I shall hear what the clamor of living has kept from me."

The year she sent this to me--2001--I couldn't live up to the standards set by this unknown author. But then I didn't receive this until a couple days before Christmas so how could I have been expected to, right? 2002 was another year of failure to achieve a "calm in my soul" or to "not miss the silver stars" amid life's demands. I had good reason for this failure, however. My book manuscript was due right after Christmas. In addition, the nasty Norwalk Virus decided to pay a visit to my household, to me in particular. Need I say more? So that was 2002. Last year I had high expectations for my ability to achieve a peaceful execution of holiday activities. Yet, I remember doing all my Christmas shopping the week before and sighing a bit too often and a bit too deeply. It is important to note, however, that I had valid excuses here also but I'll spare the reader a listing of them. Three years have now passed since the receipt of this quote and I think maybe this is the year for a leisurely Christmas. But as I write this I'm convicted by the fact that I've literally been at my computer since I got up this morning, leaving only to go to the kitchen for peanut butter toast, a cup of tea, a bowl of soup, and a handful of goldfish crackers. What's more, so far I've bought exactly one Christmas present.

It's time to turn off the computer. With my husband at a meeting and my son at work, the house is empty but for me and my dog. A perfect opportunity to light a candle and watch its flame, as unknown author recommends. Maybe tomorrow, Christmas shopping.