wait, don’t hesitate

Christmas lion... on the rampage?

It’s easy to act when the situation is urgent. Kick your legs, run, feel the adrenalin pumping as your instincts take over. I’m not an adrenalin junkie, but the occasional dragon (or lion) breathing down my neck would be helpful.

That’s because I always seem to be waiting. I love to dream about possibilities and come up with ideas, so why can’t I follow through? What am I waiting for?

A friend I once knew was brilliant at buying clothes at a used clothing store. She could pick up almost anything and remake it — cutting, sewing, shaping — to be a perfect fit. She didn’t wait for the right size or the right store, she just took what she could find and made it work.

I think my problem is that I’m afraid of falling. I don’t want to start something I can’t finish; I want to know that everything will turn out ok. But if I don’t start something, I’ll never know what would happen, and what could be worse than not knowing how the story ends? I need to stop waiting and start moving, preferably before the lion of lost opportunities starts nipping at my butt.

Photo taken on November 5, 2010

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on the day before Christmas

Christmas lights

Although Christmas is called a “festive season”, today is when the fun really begins. Everyone I know is now focused on one intense 24-hour period: Christmas Eve to Christmas dinner.

We’re almost ready. We’ve baked cookies (gingerbreads, walnut snowballs and chocolate-dipped florentines), chosen and wrapped gifts for family and friends (everyone will be getting at least one thing that’s homemade), and put up the Christmas lights. Today we’ll be getting the tree and tomorrow will be dedicated to tidying and trimming, accompanied by a feast of Christmas music.

But I will admit that — as much as I enjoy the activities, the parties, the service, the carolling, the family gathering, the food — what I am really looking forward to is the week after Christmas. That’s when I will have time to review everything, replay my memory of the best moments, look at whatever gifts I may have received, and savour a few leftover treats. Our visits with extended family and friends will feel more relaxing because “the big day” will be behind us. And the shining new year, full of the potential to challenge and astound us, is just around the corner.

Photo taken on December 16, 2010

a shining welcome

shining welcome

I wanted to share some photos of the Christmas lights in our neighbourhood. The houses are so beautifully decorated, they just need a good snowfall to make the scene look more like Canada and less like Florida. Instead, I’ve chosen this photo, taken last year during a snow storm. This (to my mind)  is what a picture-perfect Christmas looks like, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen this year. We’ve had rain and wind during the night, and it looks like it will be another day before it blows over. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll have a few flakes before Christmas, but the temperatures this week are at the point where any snow could turn to rain (or vice versa).

Still, it could be a lot worse than rain on Christmas. It could be a lot of rain, like the 150 cm over 24 hours in southwestern New Brunswick last week that caused a river to overflow its banks, flooding 120 roads and damaging nearly 100 homes. It looked like Christmas would be ruined for many people this year, but for the amazing, generous and heartwarming response from local businesses, neighbouring communities and politicians who have collected funds and organized disaster relief, hosted dinners, offered temporary places to stay and distributed dehumidifiers and other supplies to those affected. With so much generosity, so much warmth, so much welcome, who needs snow?

Photo taken on December 9, 2009

ready for Hallowe’en

Although most of us think we follow a 12-month calendar, practically speaking, that’s not how we follow the year at all. Kids will mark time by birthdays and holidays, Hallowe’en and Christmas, school start and school finish. Gardeners follow the seasons — frost free date, planting, watering, harvesting, frost date, dreaming, and seed ordering — though I suspect flower gardeners have a completely different calendar. Other common calendars revolve around specific sports, or dog shows, or fashion. There is the “Hallmark” calendar, the “red letter day” calendar (international religious festivals and holidays and other special events), the liturgical calendar (with colour coding, eg. red for Pentecost, blue for Christmas), the wiccan calendar (solstice celebrations and Beltane), the birder’s calendar (migration season, nesting season, etc) and many others. If you put all these calendars together, you would have more than enough to celebrate every day of the year!

What calendars do you follow?

Taken on September 23, 2010