The Christmas tree and seasonal decorations spread light and color over this rainy day in San Anselmo, California. No more presents under the tree. Still, gifts keep coming, ongoing reminders that the HEART of Christmas remains. Like yesterday, when Lily took me for Christmas Tea at the Crown and Crumpet Cafe. One of Lily’s gifts, besides time with her.
Who me, like tea?
Lily and Momo: Christmas Cracker Royalty for a moment.
It’s been good to be here with the Willis family. As Luke said Christmas morning, with a ribbon wrapped around his head, “I’m your gift.” And he is. And so are Basil, Lily, Heather and Matt. My favorite present is still time together.
Gift wrapped Luke and Antlered Basil.
As tomorrow’s return flight nears, I’m experiencing a mild form of separation anxiety. I want to cling to this family, these sacred times. But then I realize that to clutch what has been is to close off what can be.
Besides, soon this family will disperse. Lily returns to Ireland to complete her master’s degree. Luke’s off to UC Santa Cruz. Basil returns to 8th grade, while Matt and Heather continue working in public and private healthcare. Which means, in a matter of days, I’d be alone with two dogs: old faithful, Tia, and new puppy, Teddy.
Heather and Matt hiking in Utah
So, it’s time to pack up. Besides, I have family, friends and good neighbors back east who I love. Then, add to that the lure of purpose, responsibilities and my church family.
Well, by now you’re aware I’m preaching to myself. Trying to gear up for another transition. Sometimes writing’s like going to a gym, but for a mental and emotional workout. Reflection matters and a New Year is just what I need. It comes gift wrapped in HOPE.
However, since we’re straddling the old and New Year, there’s still time to appreciate what was and to anticipate fresh starts and second chances. The Bible reminds us that the best is yet to come. Still, I don’t want to miss today, nor get stressed about the future. Worry’s a waste of time.
And so, upon reflection, I thank God for you readers, my family, neighbors and forever friends. We need each other, for comfort, perspective, and encouragement. It’s a holy calling to help each other make it Home. Because life is both wonderful and hard. Which is why I pray for you when I write and at other times. And why I’m fond of these words by Anne Lamott.
“And as it turns out, if one person is praying fo you, buckle up. Things can happen.”
For sure, I’ve lived long enough to know prayer matters. So as we appreciate what was and anticipate what’s to come, I wonder what difference any of these challenges offer us in the coming year?
For sure, “Things can happen.”
Can I hear an amen?
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