It is true that each Christmas brings with it a bit more sadness, as more and more loved ones leave us (at least in the visible sense). But with that comes the intense poignancy of the season: make the most of our time together. And do not sweat the small things, like a present missing a bow, or a present gone missing, swept under the rug or couch or tossed in the trash bin. It’s not the presents that matter, it’s the present. That state of being that is so very hard to achieve, but, with mindfulness (that buzz word these days), surely attainable. The key, I believe, is just to breathe in the moment, to look around and truly see what is important: each other, the laughter. It is so easy to get side-tracked. But what always brings us back to that core is so simple. Love. May you all find true joy, peace and love this holiday season and ever on. ~ Lisa
So yesterday I didn’t wake with a feeling that death was imminent, or that my life had passed me by. I didn’t feel any older than I did the day before, or even the year before (Okay my hair has thinned a tad, and there are a few more brown spots on my hands, and the wrinkle beside my mouth has deepened). But I had a wonderful breakfast made by the man I love, my husband of nearly 25 years. I ran 3 1/2 miles on a beautiful trail through the woods on Kent Island. And then Don took me out to dinner where my friend for life and her husband surprised me by joining us, and showering me with gifts and tickets to a Styx concert in June. Tracy and I have been friends since we were three, when her mom plopped her down in my kiddy pool, and we’ve been together in that whirlpool of life ever since. We are blood sisters, laughing together until we cried at times, and holding each other up when the tears were real. I am blessed with so many good friends and a wonderful family. And it is this realization at fifty that resonates with me so clearly. It’s not about the accomplishments or the creations, it’s about the strength of our personal relationships that really matters. In a world that seems increasingly alienating, where people are more comfortable hiding behind a screen, texting instead of picking up a phone to hear that special voice, I am reminded over and over again that true friendship is a remarkable gift.
Watch the moss-coated stones–they can be slippery. The water seeps into the cracks as it makes its way down into the creek–the waterfalls flowing, cascading white, like sheets being shook over the natural stairs. Everything is made by nature here–weathered by time–and, yet, so much stays the same: the spot where you can dive off the boulder and not break your neck; the large branch that leans precariously over the water, yet to break; the winding steep path down the woods (the roots of the trees like reptilian feet) that leads you to this peaceful place; the blue heron that sits upstream on the falls, staring at you, annoyed by your presence. “Why are you here?” he seems to ask. The question I’ve been asking myself for so long–with only the response, “Who knows?” But, here, in my favorite place, it all flows clear like the pristine water from the mountain snows: I am here to listen, to learn–to understand that I’m a mere ripple in the eternal flow.