The Morning After A Party

This is the time of the year when the calendar gets filled with parties and events, and the dinners and get-togethers that make the early descent of darkness a bearable thing until the days start to get longer again. There is a sense of excitement in the cold air, accented by the sparkle of holiday lights, the flickering of candles, the Christmas trees that illuminate the darker corners of our homes. And then there is the merry-making and cheerful greetings as friends and family gather to be together at this tail-end of the calendar year. Yet for all of that, I find my most peaceful and tranquil moments in the early morning, after a night out, when the sun is streaming into the living room. Everyone else in the house is asleep, and I pad quietly out to the kitchen to make a cup of green tea.

A recording of a flute and koto plays in the background, and a stick of Japanese incense burns by the window. A few spires of paperwhite narcissus rise from their glass bowls, their heady fragrance mingling with the incense in unlikely but fine fashion. It is a moment of peace.

I sit on a leopard-patterned chair that allows a full view of my favorite room. A Korean tansu rises to my right. A clown loach swims idly around the aquarium to my left. My eyes follow the rising stream of burning incense in the sunlight.

Soon, the house will wake. Guests will shake off the revelry of the previous evening. I’ll press a button and coffee will start brewing. The holiday season will pick up where it left off. Yet I’ll have had my moment, and I’ll want to join in the fun again.

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