My plans for the Winter Solstice were to spend it with a friend who had suggested a surprise outing together. I had no idea where we'd be going, only that we'd finish with a late lunch at Thai Diner. He said I could try to guess, but I'm not the guessing type, so I cleared my schedule and anticipated the afternoon.
So with no idea of what was in store, I got into his car and headed off into the unknown. He didn't keep me in suspense for long, though; we were going to have massages and it was his Christmas gift to me. As someone who has had a truly awful year, I knew I had enough tension in my body to keep a masseuse busy until her hands gave out so I was beyond thrilled. I have to say that a surprise gift of a massage was about the most wonderful thing that I could have heard at that moment.
He had set it up so that we would to have our massages in the same room, but with a partition dividing it for privacy (we're friends after all, so we don't get naked in front of each other). Upon arrival, it turned out that a pregnant woman had co-opted the divided room, so we used discretionary disrobing techniques and averted eyes to prevent any glimpses of friend flesh. And then I just melted into the table as my body got the once -over.
My favorite gift has always been words. I like nothing better than than a letter or e-mail when someone wants to give me a present. But today's gift of a massage on a body with a year's worth of stress and a broken heart may have been the kindest thing done for me in many moons.
I'm glad that today being the shortest day means that from here on out, the days will start getting longer. I'm even more grateful that I have such a thoughtful friend who knew exactly what I needed (without a word from me) and generously gave it to me.
And wouldn't you know, after feeling completely certain that no one would ever see this morning's big snow-induced bruise, the masseuse not only saw it, she commented that it wasn't too bad...yet.