Tis the season to accessorize, right? Already houses up and down every street are unknotting their white or colored strands of lights and wrapping their bushes and trees and sheds and houses with illumination, so much so that even the most mundane commute is a venture into winter wonderland.
In that spirit, on the first day of December I took my pink and gold ball earrings out of my not-wearing drawer and put them right on… perhaps a bit early for holiday glitz, but I decided the whole month needs to be a celebration.
As I left for work that morning a raging storm came through with 90 mile an hour winds that uprooted trees and toppled electric poles, a destruction that rippled across county lines, purging thousands from their connection to power.
All that festive illumination gone in a flash! No ordinary outage, this one lasted 84 hours for our household (although as I write this, now warm in my bed, there are sadly those still without). For a northern community in December to be without power means more than no light, it can also mean no heat or water, and for us this was all too true. Our fear over frozen and then cracked pipes was greater than any other concerns… but through it all, I was determined to maintain my celebratory aura and focus on accessorizing myself in a festive light.
That first night, surrounded by a flood of candlelight I went back into my not-wearing drawer and opened every little square box and silk bag to find all sorts of neglected treasure. In three separate sachets I found three separate broken strands of beads: one of square clear glass, another ornately etched black beads, the last chunks of blue lapis. Why haven’t I ever had these repaired? Different time, different priorities… but I stopped in at my local jewelry/craft spot and found they were skilled with knotted or unknotted necklaces and made arrangements to have them all done up right! I also discovered a mink collar my mother passed on, so I’m now on the hunt for the right sweater to garnish it with.
One dark day became three and to keep my spirits up I rummaged through an old jewelry box passed on from an eclectic and life-loving grandmother. The biggest discovery was the garish and ornate stash of costume-jewlery broaches. My first perfect find for the season, a two inch christmas tree complete with glass beads of red and silver and a matching wreath with the same trim, but I also discovered a lovely peacock with its trail of feathers painted half the rainbow, a three inch silver disk cut out in geometric designs, and several smaller broaches, with intricate painted flowers, each with a glass pearl or bead in the center. Nothing but fun in that dusty three drawer box! I took out the two 36’ strands of beads to wear straight away with some silly beaded loops, and remembered, even in the shadow of the flickering light, that December is a time to gather with friends, to smile a bit more, to share all you can, and yes, have a blast!
This is also a time to sing the praise of all those outside for countless hours in the cold dark, finessing power lines to bring back everything we need to enlighten this dark season.