For our prompt of “Polar Bear” today, I chose to paint a mom and baby cuddling. Though it was unusually warm here for Christmas, the weather has cooled down again today. I’m sure our dog Phineas is not amused by this change, but I totally love it. It means we just might be able to turn the fireplace on and enjoy a cozy winter evening. While I don’t necessarily love being outdoors in the bitter cold, since I myself am not a polar bear, I do love the indoors this time of year. It’s definitely a more cuddly season. Phineas has been right next to Philippe and I our entire winter break and though that’s a normal behavior for most dogs, it’s quite rare for him. He’s normally more content being off on his own and doing his own thing. As a fellow introvert, I can relate, but everybody needs cuddles every now and again. Philippe is currently tackling this year’s nefarious puzzle that has us both a touch baffled. I snuck away briefly to splash some watercolor about and write, but I’ll be returning shortly to help. He’s quite determined that we’ll complete it this evening, and so it also must also be the season of optimism.
We managed to get out of the house for lunch today and go to our favorite German restaurant. It was delicious as always and fun, since everything was still decorated for Christmas. I love that the season really lasts until the New Year, so we’ve a few more days before it’s officially over and we have to go through the task of dismantling our own Christmas Tree. It’s way more fun to put up decorations than to take all of them down. That always feels more like work and it’s a bit sad to see all of the glittering things get put back into a box for another year. But that’s exactly why this time of year is so exceptional. If it happened everyday, it would lose its sparkle. What I have truly loved about these days is the ability to sleep in each morning this week. That’s probably the greatest gift of the year. There’s no specific schedule of what to do next. We can just let the day decide as it goes along. Except, yeah, that darn puzzle. It’s still sitting behind me, taunting me with every impossibly colored piece. But, this time spent with my little trio has been so amazing, and it never fails to bring me joy each year.
In fact, I haven’t even begun to consider what I’d like to accomplish in the coming year. I’m still enjoying this one too much to worry about that. And I want to savor each and every moment that’s happening now. Even that puzzle will be a story we’ll talk about for years to come. And Phineas snuggles up to us ever closer as if he also knows this is a very special time of year. It’s not just the holidays, but also the fact that it’s the very end of one year and the beginning of a next. Sure, in many ways it’s just another day turning on the calendar, but it always feels a bit like a fresh start. But that’s a few days from now. Today and for the precious days ahead, I’m going to keep snuggling up to Phineas, while he still lets me, and think about nothing much at all. My mind normally spins like it’s trying to win a race, and yet this time of year is the only time it slows down just a bit. Sure, I’m not getting a thing done on any of my projects and these doodlewashes of late are faster than ever, but it’s all so amazing. One special time each year I get to pause and enjoy the nothing much of life as I rediscover it means everything to me. That’s the sincere beauty of cuddle season.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Gold Ochre, Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta and Ultramarine (Green Shade). Staedtler Pigment Liners in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!