I’ve started this post three or four times. Sometimes the writing just flows, other times it comes in dribbles and it’s hard to express all that’s brewing inside my mind. This is one of those times. I know what I’d like to say, but it’s not appearing in the words I type.
Perhaps keeping it simple is in store for now.
I’m watching the wind break leaves off the trees outside, making them flutter to the ground in a flurry my family has started calling Carolina snow, because, well, this area of South Carolina so rarely sees snow that the plethora of leaves is as close as we get.
Life’s changed in the last few years. The Holidays surprised me this year simply because there’s no snow to herald their arrival. In years past about this time, my husband and I would head out to the national forest for our Christmas tree. We’d pay $5 for our permit, go spend a day searching for the perfect Charlie Brown style tree, chop it down, and haul it home.
It’d fill the house with its pine or spruce scent all through December and seemed to be our landmark for when the Christmas season truly started.
Last year, after moving, we asked people where we could go to chop down our own tree. We got one of two responses. A clear look like we were crazy or the address to a tree farm where we could pay more to chop down a tree than we would to buy a fake one.
To borrow from a popular, cultural reference, we were definitely not in Kansas anymore. (Or in Colorado or Washington, where ever the place may be.)
With so much that’s different, it’d be easy to wallow in the things I miss.
Yet, life’s much the same as well, filled with the simple things that bring joy. My cat’s still curled against my back as I write, my dog’s diligently guarding the side of my desk – and snoring – and a cup of coffee lets off its fragrant mist of steam while I work.
The house smells of recent cleaning and home baked pumpkin bread. The heater’s not kicking on because it’s seventy degrees outside, but there’s still a slight chill in the air that signals the changing season.
I might not get a crisp white Christmas, but everywhere we go, there’s beauty and blessings if I choose to see them and I’m reminded that so much of life’s experience is in how we view it.
As many of you know, December’s my time to step back, enjoy the family time, and to soak in the good things without getting distracted by the craziness of life. I encourage you to be intentional this season as well. We’re bombarded with the things that have changed, usually cast in the worst light possible, but that doesn’t mean life’s not filled with blessings.
For me, that means this next month will be blog free, although I doubt it’ll be writing free. I’ll return in January for the start of a new year with more adventures to explore.
Until then, may you have an amazing and blessed Christmas season.