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Friday, December 25, 2009

A Blizzard, Christmas Expectations and JOy and a Zoo

A few words whispered out into the ethernet in the still of the night...
Cougar Mountain Zoo Crane, Kale and Reindeer
Molbak's bottle display


...who knows who will read my words, or what they might do out there......

This time of year is filled even more so than usual, with so many memories. I feel at peace and relieved after talking to several members of my southwest family that they are surviving the sudden blizzard... despite the power outage, now fixed, despite being stranded on a middle-of- nowhere road after feeding and tending the horses, now back home...and despite the 4 foot snowdrifts... I am grateful we have cell phones now, and don't have to worry as much about making long distance calls, so we spend a lot of time recounting stories and good times past.

And I'm satisfied with our own northwest alternative to the holidays... no longer stressing out with winter holiday airport travel, the possible blizzards along the way, the hectic shopping, malls, etc., etc. Along the way we've refashioned our expectations and what we think is important. No cutting a poor tree and hauling all that stuff out, no, indeed, a couple of simple ornaments on the mantle is enough. A special dinner at home. Dinner out with friends. Sharing a play with friends. Local events... one of our annual treks is to Molbak's fabulous nursery and garden store in Woodenville for their poinsetta festival where we sit in front of the poinsetta tree and get someone to snap a picture every time, enjoy kringle and coffee and wander through the lush greenery and flowers.

A couple of weeks ago we stopped in at the Cougar Mountain Zoo in Issaquah, as we had been wanting to see the white tiger born this past May, and the reindeer festival. The four tigers were beautiful creatures, their behavior so like our own cat. I am grateful there are zoos and sanctuaries for them, as they are very endangered, but I am saddened that they live such restricted lives in small territories behind bars. The cranes were lively hopping around, fun to watch, and I was thrilled to get a couple of good photos of them, challenging as they were in constant motion. My Christmas wish is for more humane treatment of all creatures and hope that less habitat will be lost...

Most often for the last decade, we have gone to the Oregon beaches for Christmas and revel in the quiet and peace of the ocean and crispy fresh air, so rejuvenating. Instead, this year it will be at another time, but soon... There are several other local things we may enjoy together during "the season"... all simple things, flexible, and much like we do all year.
Flowers from Molbak's
A Christmas Meditation
Leaving you with these thoughts.....
I read and hear so much about stress during the holidays, especially Christmas. Expectations can create all kinds of reactions in us, including disappointment. Consider what expectations you have and those around you have, about the holidays. Question whether these expectations are realistic, are they stress creating, or do they create peace and harmony for you. Consider how you might change them, start new or simpler traditions. Maybe it's about togetherness, finding joy in small things, sharing experiences instead of stuff, and giving and receiving acknowledgement and love.

3 comments:

Paula McNamee said...

Dolorse, Thanks for your Christmas meditation. Our family feels the same way and we've made changes to simplify our holiday season. It makes the days more relaxing and helps us appreciate all that we have. Here's to a creative, healthy, happy and prosperous New Year, Paula

Laurent said...

Happy New Year from Paris

HeartFire said...

Thank you Paula... so nice to hear I'm not the only one making it simpler & more relaxing!

Laurent from the city of Light - thank you for your superb Paris pix!