I remember some years ago hearing that the Hebrew word shalom, peace, does not mean "absence of war" so much as it means "fullness of life." Shalom is a house full of people talking loudly, laughing or even arguing, with the smells of food cooking and with children running underfoot. Our Christmas at Rebecca's and David's would be a good example of that sort of shalom, I think. Crowded, noisy, lively and blessed with the presence of two grandchildren.
On this Saturday, our first Sabbath, if you will, in Madison, perhaps that is the sort of shalom we have. No grandchildren, but our kids, the cats, are making their share of noise. Cassidy still yowls from time to time, especially at 2:30 and 4:00 in the morning, when she discovers that there is still no cat door to let her out to roam the countryside. Sundance meows periodically during the day, demanding more of the Fancy Feast we use to get her to take her meds in the morning and evening. She has decided she is too good now for dry Iams and Greenies the rest of the day, thank you very much.
We are not giving in. That provides the content for the argument.
The apartment is not crowded, what with just two old coots and two old cats. But there are still boxes here and there and paintings leaning against walls where they will, I hope, eventually be hung. And every time one of us goes into the kitchen and opens the refrigerator or a cabinet door, the kids are immediately underfoot.
I put a boot tray just inside the front door, but Tom refuses to use it and has been tracking salt and white gunk through the place every day. The robot sweeper/mopper and I cannot keep up with it, partly because the floor is still cluttered with boxes and ... oh, yeah, you've already heard this part.
Because most of our time has been spent unpacking and arranging, we have been surviving mostly on carry-out and frozen food. This afternoon, Tom is cooking our first real meal here. Baked chicken is the main thing, and fresh salad and probably rice. Not fancy, but shalom-smells and shalom-food nonetheless.
And I made it to the fitness center again this morning for an hour on the treadmill. For my own shalom of mind.
Shabbat shalom to you!