Captain’s Log 3,858
The holidays approach and I am not even close to ready for anything. I hope to spend Wednesday and Thursday taking care of that. What is it like to be so ready for Christmas that you aren’t wrapping gifts on December 24th? I know some people can do that, and I am in awe.
We didn’t have a fireplace when I was a kid. Our house was very old and very simple, so Santa had to deliver presents to the enclosed back porch. My parents would make all sorts of distractions while our uncle loaded the gifts into the porch area. Then, he would make some huge production of running next to the house and down the alley. By the time I made it to the porch, he was long gone – just huge footprints across the yard.
I was enchanted with this whole thing until David Sanow told me that isn’t real. I was seven years old and we were playing together on a gorgeous summer morning. My heart was broken. I knew he was right but I didn’t want to believe him. If I stopped believing in Santa, Christmas would disappear forever.
I believe in the special essence of this season. I don’t think it has to be related to believing in Jesus or God, I think it’s part of our natural human cycle to respond to the changes in the earth at this time. For us above the equator, the days shorten and the nights have a different feel of depth. I feel like Mother Earth is revealing so much in the silence. I find it awe-inspiring. The same thing happened when I went to New Zealand. It was June 22nd when I stood alone in the silence of Fox Glacier and watched the mystical green lights dance across the sky. I had the same feeling of deep reflection and introspection I have here every Christmas. I let the earth speak to me. And I shut up and listened.
This time of the year has always been about the return of the light. Even though I no longer ascribe to Judeo-Christian beliefs, I still respect what happens. I still find it awe-inspiring to go to midnight Mass and experience the images of hundreds of candles shimmering in the darkness. All those people are waiting for a symbolic new beginning. Some call it Christ – I call it renewal. Does it matter what that moment is called? Does putting a spiritual definition on it make my experience any different? No, it does not. It is a magic time for a myriad of reasons. The ancients knew about this long before the idea of Jesus was even around. I take what I need from these times and hopefully, I learn and grow.
But this is also a time to be silly and have fun. So here’s another winning photograph of what sometimes happens during the holidays…..when people send cards with photos of themselves and/or their pets.
American Gothic With Smiles (and child)
I guess putting an enormous chair in the middle of the field is one way to make a happy family holiday card. It took me a bit of time to ascertain that this is not a wheelchair. It is a real chair chair. And it’s out in the middle of nowhere (unless the photographer just happened to have this in the studio). The people are adorable, but the choice of setting baffles me. At least the parents have heads – unlike yesterday’s photo.
We have made a change for our Christmas thing for Friday and Saturday nights. Instead of having Santa sitting in a vintage car posing with kids (and adults), the police association museum wants to bring their 1935 paddy wagon. Santa will sit in the driver’s seat and people can pose on the running board with two cops dressed in vintage uniforms. We think it’s funny.