I love this time of the year. The air is cool and crisp. The leaves on the trees are changing colors. In California, some trees are evergreen and still look as though they are decorating the spring time air. Many of the trees are bare, and resemble crude stick figures that a 4 year old drew and threw on the landscape. There is something about late fall that is enchanting and almost ethereal.
Christmas is almost here. The air is filled with the excitement of children, retailers’ anticipation for lots of business, and a good amount of grown-up stress. In other parts of the country, snow is falling. In northern California, the air can get a bit nippy, but never really, really cold. This year, the rain is falling. Not continuously, but sporadically enough so that only 2 or 3 days at most are passing before the “next big storm” arrives. The rain is a curse and a blessing. Mostly, I think, a blessing.
The signs of Christmas are everywhere. There are obvious signs: lots of homes decorated in glittering lights, stores filling their aisles with gift wrap, tree ornaments, and everything in between, Christmas commercials on TV and radio ad infinitum, radio stations playing only holiday music, and sales circulars dotting retail shelves everywhere. But, there are also the less obvious signs: people starting to hurry about just a bit more, more smiles and warmth enveloping everyone as they go about their business, others randomly giving small gifts away like the car in front of you paying your bridge toll, the donut shop giving you a free extra donut, and a student bringing you a perfect red rose. Almost everyone’s heart seems a little bigger, their spirits a little softer, and their smiles just a bit warmer.
If Christmas wishes could come true, I would wish for the end of hunger, income equality, clean air and water, an abolishment of all of the abusive “isms” (you know, sexism, racism, homophobia – ok this is not exactly an “ism” but it’s close enough – ageism, etc.) For me, Christmas holds a magic and the promise of a new world.
My real Christmas wish? That we continue to plow and plant and plow and plant until that new world does indeed become more than just a wish, and that we never, never give up until that work transforms into a reality.
What is your Christmas wish?