by Charlene Burgi
By the time you read this blog, used gift wrap may be filling the trash, presents may already be worn, plugged in, turned on or even returned. However, the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is still in the air. The senses remain on overload.
My email was on overload for over a month, as it jammed daily with sales for the perfect gift from every store in every direction. I took satisfaction as I hit the delete key as fast as the offers popped up and held onto the wise saying, “remember the reason for the season.” This overwhelming need to run ourselves ragged has missed the point of the season. As wise men and women reminded me over the years, “Stop and smell the roses.” Ah, roses. Even in December I can hold onto the memory of their fragrance and beauty of their flower, and that brings me peace.
We need to remember that some gifts come without wrappings and cost nothing but our time to enjoy their presence. These little gifts come in many forms. Some gifts come from the heart of nature, like the memory of roses in December. You can also find these gifts by watching a fuzzy squirrel stealing corn set out for the covey of quail. You can appreciate graceful deer despite that they may be browsing in your yard. Even the throng of marauders—those darn pinyon jays that devour seed faster than it can be set out—are a gift as they clean up the mess left by the little chickadees, robins and doves here in Lassen. Peaceful walks on the Mt. Tamalpais Watershed often bestow unexpected gift sightings of bobcats, coyotes or even turtles sunning on logs. With luck you might capture the magnificent flight of an eagle at Lake Lagunitas, or a great horned owl. Wildflowers also can provide an unexpected joy that can’t be found in a box under a tree. These visions are gifts not easily forgotten.
I personally received gifts throughout the year that came in the way of comments you left in response to the blog. I was touched by your willingness to share your experiences and especially your words of encouragement. It cost your time and the gifts received for me were priceless.
Gardening is a passion that we often set aside during the winter months. As we recover from the holidays, accept my gift to you—take time out and “smell the roses.” Appreciate our natural surroundings. These are the gifts that are yours for the taking anytime your batteries need to be charged, anytime the world seems out of sorts, and especially anytime you are looking for a joy point during the day.
Have a very Happy New Year!