Whew! Time has been passing by quickly and I hope you've been enjoying this time well. As we approach year’s end, I invite in a pause and reflection on past seasons.
On the darkest night of the year, I figured it would only be appropriate to rummage through old pictures from my time shooting with an old Canon the past ten years. On this Solstice night, many of these black and white photographs on film had never seen the light of day. Moments and nostalgia streamed into the forefront of my mind, and with the timing of the holiday season in full effect, I reflected on past holiday memories in particular.
Growing up in Wisconsin, my family had a tradition of going out to our Grandparents Christmas Tree Farm. My cousins and I would drink steamy hot apple cider, burn our tongues taste buds, make ornaments to sell for pennies on the dollar and bake sugar cookies that gave us sugar highs with anticipation over what Santa would bring us for Christmas.
When I moved to California, I was many times unable to travel back to Wisconsin's neck of the woods to join in celebration. Between the busyness of full-time work and full-time school, the holidays would always quickly approach, all with the suns rays beating down in the middle of December. Through all of this nonstop running around and snowless Decembers though, there was always opportunity to immerse in holiday cheer in times with others, no matter how different I was coming to learn that times would be. I began to learn new traditions and celebrate diversely within the heart of Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, along with Persian and Chinese New Years too.
I remember one year celebrating with a group of friends that had never celebrated Christmas. They were from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. We drove out an hour past Los Angeles city limits to a small Christmas Tree Farm to saw down our very own tree. It got netted and placed on top of my Honda Civic along with boxes of lights and ornaments and driven back into the city of Marina Del Rey. After quite the adventure of getting it through the elevator wheeled on a bell cart up to some sky rise of a floor, we got a glimpse into the Christmas traditions of wearing Santa hats as we listened to Christmas songs and decorated our tree.
Although many times planned, there have been many times with holidays unplanned. There was an unexpected year when my New Years Eve plans as I knew them had fallen through due to Mother Nature. My flight back to a friends gathering in San Diego had been delayed and I was stuck in Colorado on New Years Eve. Sometimes, when life hands you lemons, you make beef stew. So with strangers on a flight that knew nothing about each other, we counted down the New Year in a Denver pub with streamers, hats and beads, learning much to our surprise we were practically neighbors in San Diego. We have since reminisced about that NYE moment, getting together times again, that is, after we had landed back safely to our final destinations.
My wings are still with me as I travel to the West Coast in less than a week once again to prepare for this upcoming year and the exciting projects #InTheField. However, for now, I have returned to my roots in The Northwoods, nesting into my humble abode and first WI winter in over 8 years! I am grateful to be here and excited for what is to come, but it is also clear, that even though I am in the process of moving back to Wisconsin, I have a little bit of California still with me. Quite literally, this lemon-scented Cypress tree, native to CA Monterey Peninsula brings me into the moment as I write. Its aroma fills the air and I giggle at its Whoville slant of a charm with one dangling ornament.
Even though I have a makeshift Christmas tree and little for furniture to fill within my new walls of 3 bedrooms and two baths, I do have tiny meaningful things and memories that carry a spark of joy. They happen to come in all sorts of surprises, shapes, sizes, colors and cultural traditions.
This holiday season, as I reflect on old memories and new, I see a whole lot of space… outside in nature, inside with little for furniture, and filled with loving and supportive friends and family near and far… it’s just simply A Space to Be & Love. I’m feeling the magic this holiday and past holiday seasons alike. No matter where it is, or who it’s with, near or far --- may we remember that the simplicity of heart-centered presence can be one of the greatest presents and temples of all.
So here we are, four days left of this year. I know that many of us have felt that 2016 cannot end soon enough. There is much to have learned, changed and let go of as we enter into a new year. As there’s always an opportunity to immerse ourselves in holiday cheer, there is also a new year ahead with fresh space for opportunity too. I hope you and I do everything we can to invite these opportunities in, build upon them and use them well… even if we cannot see the full picture quite yet. Let’s look forward to tiny, BIG happenings and be open to space and possibility for the new to emerge!
Thank you for reading #InTheField and being a part of my life. Let’s travel places together and share in more spaces to Be & Love. Get the latest articles and updates delivered straight to your inbox. Just click here to provide The Magical Field with your email address and I'll be sure to personally notify you with tiny updates, field notes and tiny reminders on life's magical moments.