by Charlene Burgi
The tree is up and laden with ornaments representing years of collected memories. The house sparkles with decorations; villages are aglow; poinsettias and Christmas cacti draw your eye to their displays of color; and mountains of cookies wait to be devoured by holiday guests. The aroma of hot apple cider permeates the air, and yet there is that moment of panic.
Gifts still need to be wrapped and—oh my—I can’t find my address book buried in one of the yet-to-be-unpacked boxes in the garage. The Christmas gift bags must be in the same box as the address book. Christmas cards may have to be sent electronically this year. But what do I do about my relatives who refuse to move into the electronic age? And what about my idea of sending photos in the cards of our snow-covered home nestled in the hills of Lassen County? I consider moving to Plan B. Digital photos could be sent as an attachment. However, I would be hard-pressed to find any snow right now. In fact, it would be difficult to show any indication of anything wet, and it is pretty difficult to capture teeth chattering in the freezing temperatures! Do I use a picture from a previous snowfall?
What do we do to ourselves this time of year? I don’t think I am unique . . . even among those who are retired or ultra-organized. I had to force myself to stop and look around! The little finches and chickadees clamor to the bird feeders. I am grateful for their presence. A herd of deer found their way into the pasture and graze quietly by Copper and Brighty, the two donkeys. What peace that scene brings to me. The remains of the holiday party remind me of the wealth of new friends found in this beautiful country. Calls and emails from our family are almost as good as them being here to share in this wonderland. Hearing their voices and knowing they are healthy and loved embraces my heart with each contact. As I check emails, I hear from many of you. I am humbled by your gracious words that are more precious than jewels and are greatly appreciated by me as well as the staff at Marin Municipal Water District who support the weekly blog. Your voices and the growing number of subscribers tell me that the words written are not wasted: You see water as a precious resource and thirst for knowledge about ways to use it wisely. Thank you for all you are doing!
And if I may offer: Stop and count your blessings despite how insane schedules and to-do lists become. I just did and my world has been righted.
Have a very happy holiday. Make it one of peace and joy.