My daughter came home for the holidays. One of the activities we have always loved doing together since she was a tiny baby girl has been puzzles. So in the midst of finishing Christmas shopping and preparing for an endless influx of guests and gatherings, we picked up a jigsaw puzzle to do together.
We love libraries and so picked out a jigsaw puzzle of the Maria Laach Library in Germany. It is gorgeous place but makes for a nearly impossible puzzle.
My daughter is only here for three days so we have spent our tired hours piecing together this lovely library. It almost feels like finding each piece and the right place for it settles something cosmically. For me, it feels like echoing heaven. We are only a breath away at times it seems. We can see paradise but can only paint illusions of it.
My daughter and I gathered with our extended family on Christmas Eve morning for a brunch. My aunt passed away in 2015 leaving my uncle in charge of her beloved horses so we all ventured down to the barn, a repeat of a tradition that has been going for as long as I can remember.
My uncle lives in the house my aunt was born in and died in. Our family is like that, settling hard on the land. My cousins are big on pictures, recording every moment they possibly can on film.
I could not help but notice how my uncle and cousins all are able to celebrate my aunt’s life more than they mourn the loss of it. I still miss my Aunt Barbara so much. She was one of those iron ladies you sometimes read about but rarely have the pleasure to know.
The picture of my family that I took is missing pieces. My parents were not feeling too well and so they left the brunch right after eating. My brother’s car died, and he and my nephew could not attend. My daughter and I lurked behind the camera, and the sun made it devilishly hard to get a clear photo on my phone. Pieces of the whole still remain to be fit in order to complete the picture. Isn’t that always the way of things?