Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Adios 2013

This is my 43rd post this year. That's two more than 2012 and a little less than half from 2011. Could it be I've run out of things to say? Could it be I've stopped noticing the world around me, stopped listening to the thoughts inside me? Surely I cannot have run out of things to say. That's too easy. I think it's that while I haven't stopped paying attention to the world around me, to the magic and beauty that is always there, I have somehow stopped exploring, stopped taking the time to let it all soak in. I don't like that realization, not one bit. It's about time, really, not about taking the time but about making the time. Observation must be a priority, a habit that takes root and becomes second nature. It used to be that way with me but I disconnected from that in 2013. I'm not sure why.

I seek to change that in 2014. Starting today, the last day of 2013.

I am heading to the cabin in a couple hours, going to spend the changing of the calendar in the place that I love, among the trees and the lazy moving river. Nature knows not of the calendar or the clock and I like that very much.

Have a safe and happy new year and, of course, all my best to you and yours.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

On this day

What a beautiful morning this Christmas morning is. It's quiet, my front and back doors open to the chilly air. The only sound really is the crackle of the fire in the fireplace and the chattering birds outside in the trees. I took Josie and Dixie for a walk last night, each wearing one of Cheyenne's two jingle bell collars. We jingled through the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights and decorations. We walked again early this morning, a long walk, jingling all the way. The warm smell of smoke pouring from many chimneys, just perfect.

Last night, my nephew, his girlfriend, their three-year old daughter, Faith, and I went to the children's service at my church. We sang and prayed and rejoiced. I realized that was all I wanted this Christmas, to go to church with them, to watch Faith experience the thrill of worship and song on such a special night. I wore my mother's pearls and a ring my father gave me many years ago. I felt them there with us, the light in their love was clear.

This morning, my niece Catherine called and opened her gifts from me while we were on the phone. I wish I could have seen her face but the tone of her voice left me little doubt what her smile looked like.

Later today, I will visit a dear elderly friend and listen to her stories about me when I was a baby. She loves to tell those stories and I can't deny that I love to hear them. She will close her eyes, tilt her head back and chuckle to herself at the memory. I will close mine and wrap my heart around her. And later still, friends will be coming over for cooking, dinner and celebration.

This is my day, quiet and beautiful, love and long distance. It is a magnificent time, this Christmas day. I wish you and yours a very merry Christmas. And I leave you with these words:

And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.” -Roald Dahl

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


When I was in the shower Tuesday morning, he was stepping off the bus. I wasn't thinking of him and no doubt he wasn't thinking of me. We had never met. We never will. When I drove to work, I saw him on the street. A white sheet covered him. Police cars were everywhere, so many police cars. A fire truck. A news truck. People standing on the grassy median. I was westbound, he was in the eastbound lane. I lost my breath. I began to cry. Because it was just too much, to see a body that was no doubt so recently a life.

When I got to the office, I searched every five minutes or so for news of the accident. His name, I would learn, was Carl. He was a mentally challenged 60-year old. He stepped off the bus at 6:30, on his way to a job he held for over 20 years. When he crossed the street, he was hit by a car. That driver stopped. The second car that hit him ran over him. That driver did not stop. The two coworkers who were on the bus with him ran for help. The first driver desperately tried to help him. But it was too much, and it was too late.

I thought about him most of the day yesterday, I wondered about those who loved him, who knew him. I imagined his life. I grieved that it has ended.