Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like . . .

Winter! Seattle has rarely had such a prolonged cold snap as the one we're currently experiencing. Temperatures are running in the twenties and teens--the highs never rising above freezing. Rhododendrons have curled up their leaves in self-protection, making them look like bushes loaded with New Year's Eve party horns. But it's beautifully sunny and clear during the day; at night the stars from our front porch are bright and twinkly.

There's much to be thankful for, particularly a warm house (Halleluiah for the efficient furnace). I'm grateful for running water (no frozen pipes, praise be) and functioning electric lines making possible, in addition to more essential light, the special lights of the season. Sometimes I fixate on the doom of the unknown and inevitable, but today I am essentially fixating on the present and its blessings.

Like many others, I can get caught up in the rush of seasonal deadlines and the scurry of societal pressures to buy stuff. How fortunate I feel when grace envelops me with a lacy moment. I understand how lucky I am, and see what's wonderful about this tiny space of time I occupy. So many people are struggling worldwide, going without their essential needs being met. I grieve for them. But how did I get so fortunate? Only by the luck of the draw do I luxuriate in such comfort. So today, in the winter sun and surrounded by Christmas decor, I am taking a minute to wallow in my good fortune.

Rocky, the stone cat on our front porch looks particularly festive in his new hat. He had a several-year-old Santa hat, which became waterlogged and essentially ruined in last year's constant rain, so I was tickled to find the perfect fit as a replacement. Outside, Hubby and I draped a small evergreen tree (an eight-footer) with tiny blue lights. A wreath with white lights replaces our porch light this time of year. The whole effect is lovely.

Br-r-r-r. It's cold outside, but hearts are warm and life is good . . .inshallah.

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