Tag Archives: Christmas

A Second Chance

christmas 2007

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas.  I really, really am.  I wish, just once that it would snow in Sonoma on Christmas day, but alas, it would take a miracle for white blankets of snow to cover our homestead and nestle us in for the long winter’s night.  

But no matter–the cool crisp night air, delicious kitchen smells and white lights shining off our 6 foot wreath outside our home, puts me in a glowing, festive mood. 

I adore the warm colors of gold, red and green seen sparkling from our tree; I cherish the heartfelt moments by the fire, shared with family and friends; I immerse myself in the deep feelings of gratitude and joy, similar to Ebenezer Scrooge born with a second chance to live with heaven in his heart and ecstasy in his acts of kindness. 

I know the holidays can be a blue time, a sad and true time for those we love and for those we have lost, but we still have each other.  And for those we have lost, we carry them in our hearts.  They are with us still. 

As I approach 2012, I want to look at this year as a ‘second chance’ to really make the most of this life, this simple life I have created in the heart of the wine country. 

As Confucious once said, “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”

The Art of Slowness

There is something about winter that makes me slow way down: the cold night air, the naked tree branches, the dried flower buds holding on for dear life–all are living proof that winter has arrived and the time to go inward is here.   

There is an art to slowness, although it takes time to master.  My mind still runs a mile a minute with things that need to be done; my body whispers, “What’s the big hurry? Enjoy the slowness, the dormancy of nature, this organic tapestry weaving time and energy together to restore and bloom come spring.”   

And so, there is not much of the garden left.  The cold night air and brisk winds have taken the last of the vineyard leaves down. 

A few flowers remain–red and white Cyclamens decorate my outdoor pots, and red Camellia buds are holding tight to open come February. 

This time of year makes me want to curl up by a warm fire and read a juicy book. 

Or take a little nap under a thick blanket with Amber who waits for me to take her inside.  These little moments say, relax into the day, it is ok. 

One of my favorite past times during the holidays, after I have made breakfast, dropped the kids off at school and spent my morning writing, is to sit in my living room with our Christmas tree all a glow, my candles lit in vigil, to relish the moment of this warm scene.  My home is my church, my sanctuary, my place of refuge. The art of slowness is mastered here.

Peaceful Essence: It’s the Little Things

As I run here and there, knowing that the next five weeks are going to be busy with the  Christmas and New Years’ holidays, I pause to take notice of the things that make life in Sonoma, beautiful and this time of year, joyful. 

It’s the little things: the hot cup of coffee (freshly dripped) that I bought this morning from Sonoma’s Best, a local market around the corner from my home.    

It’s my two cats, Martha and Sosa, sleeping together in the cold night air in their bed; 

It’s the Mum flowers on my coffee table, the angel on the mantlepiece, the pumpkin spice candles all in a row, with every little thing in its loving place. 

I immerse myself in the little things these days, to hear, smell, touch, feel it all.  I am alive and grounded in what my close friend calls, ‘Peaceful Essence,’ the place where I appreciate all that I have. 

I rest on Mother Teresa‘s wings and words today,“There are no great things, only small things with great love.”