Today I’m not only talking about Christmas as I declare “It’s almost here!” I’m also thinking of the end of 2020. Thinking of it as the “year that was” should feel good.
And with those thoughts, we can move ahead into 2021 with hope and anticipation of better days ahead.
This Christmas season will be different for many of us. Traditions set aside for safer gatherings. Perhaps one less in that family photo or at the table. Inability to visit and cheer those housed in nursing facilities or in the hospital. And likely many more.
If we love as Christ taught us to love, we are willing to accept these inconveniences.
Looking ahead, we hope for the light at the end of this seemingly endless dark tunnel to lead to better times. The vaccine is here, injections are being given, and plans established for each of us to receive it. With gratitude in our hearts, a new year is beginning with the hope of healing and diminishing numbers of victims.
Live into that Light. The Light and Love that came down at Christmas of old is still with us. We need only to live it and share it with others.
Rainy autumn days arrived in the Pacific Northwest with bluster. With them, they brought winds that tossed colorful leaves everywhere. Our maple tree left our driveway looking like a leaf mosaic. Bob took the photo above on one of his daily trips to our mailbox last week.
With the change in our weather, the last weekend in November upon us, and new COVID restrictions on Oregon activities, it must be Thanksgiving. Things have tightened up with regard to social gatherings as the number of new cases and deaths have increased here. It is hard to celebrate while so many others are grieving, are houseless and hungry, and struggling economically to keep businesses afloat.
Today is the day we celebrate America and our freedoms. There are many things I could write about our country and its freedoms, but none as beautiful as the following poem by Walt Whitman. I Hear America Singing encompasses the entirety of who and what America was when Whitman penned these words in 1860.
Our lives are filled with traditions, especially around special days and holidays. Tomorrow is July 4th, Independence Day, here in America. Traditions around this day abound. Flags waving, parades, BBQs, family gatherings, fireworks, wearing the red-white-and-blue.
At our home, we have a tradition observed for many years. A favorite community band hosts a patriotic concert on the 3rd of July in the early evening.
Bob and I drive our red Mustang convertible to the concert. And enjoy the thumbs ups we receive along the way.
The thumbs ups aren’t just for the convertible. The icing on the cake is the wearing of our made-for-the-day baseball caps. Yes, they reflect our patriotism.
This year I have to pass a test—getting in and out of the low riding convertible. We need to be sure there’s no chance of me undoing anything I’ve accomplished thus far in my recovery.
Can you tell there’s a part of us that hates to break with tradition?
I hope you found some helpful ideas in this list. If nothing here seems right, think about providing your writer with a day in a quiet place to write as long as desired. Quiet time is worth so much to a writer.
As my recent writings can attest to, my focus the last couple of years has been on renewing and recovering health. Step by step, inch by inch, exercise by exercise–progress is being made.
With Thanksgiving Day just hours away, my thoughts have focused not so much on how I feel or don’t feel, but on what I have to be thankful for. On Sunday, we gathered with our son and part of his family to celebrate a sixth birthday for our great-grandson. And additional family time is planned throughout the holiday. Family gatherings or any other gatherings are beautiful expressions of shared love.
In the past couple of years, although some days haven’t been so easy, I’ve learned that showing gratitude for something improves my attitude. It’s a prescription that comes without monetary consideration. Lately, I’ve been letting my gratitude slip and the difference is notable. And it’s so simple. Gratitude is truly a healthy attitude.
Before I go, I want to wish you and your family a beautiful Thanksgiving celebration. May your turkey be juicy, your stuffing not dry, your cranberries a deep red, and your favorite pie on the dessert table!