Friday, December 28, 2007

Four Calling Birds

It's the fourth day of Christmas (yes, I do count the 12 days--that's the only way I get my cards and cookies done during the season.) So today we celebrate four calling birds, and I'm pondering--what are the Four Calling Birds for me for this coming year? In my mind I see a white dove of peace swooping in, and that's my first calling bird--praying for peace, yes, in our world, and also in my own life.

Second calling bird: That cheerful chickadee who stays through the winter, coming to the bird feeder on our deck, not put off at all by the snow. Yes! He makes me smile, and gives me determination to get through the cold winter days.

Third calling bird. Okay, I'm thinking an eagle. We see them often here in the Northwest, majestic, soaring high over Lake Washington, not put off by the wild winds, but riding them. A good image for me to keep in mind when the tumultuous winds of life blow hard.

Fourth calling bird: A robin. A sign of spring--I know it will come: flowers and sunlight and the joyful chirping of that red-breasted beauty who shows up early, thank goodness, in our backyard cherry tree. Hooray for robins!

How about you? What are your Four Calling Birds? It's a fun thing to ponder, this fourth day of Christmas.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Home for Christmas

I'm home again! Since I last blogged, I've spent ten days in Maui (with 3 grandkids, nine, three, and one-year) as well as 11 days with my 3 year-old grandson Weston in Santa Fe, New Mexico. And now I arrive home to our Pacific Northwest gray drizzle--but my heart is singing! There are Christmas lights everywhere, I have the carols playing, and I'm so grateful for this place I call Home.

I loved my visits with dear children and grandchildren. I will be blogging insights and memories from those trips for these next several months--from my first snorkeling ever, swimming with the giant turtles near Molokina--to my first ever Las Posadas celebration in historic Santa Fe Plaza this past Sunday.

But now, this rainy Tuesday, exactly one week until Christmas, I rejoice in the quiet moments in my own dear home to reflect on it all.

As a writer, I need this time. My soul hungers for it, like my body sometimes hungers for a bowl of my daughter's homemade soup. It warms me, comforts me, settles my spirit. From these quiet moments to reflect comes all that has meaning to me, both in my life and in my writing. Right now, this past month is still a blur to me, from my last hasty note to all of you when Anni's and my Snowflake finally posted (more about that later) to hastily packing shorts and sunblock for a trip in the Hawaii sunshine, to jumping waves at Wailea Beach with three-year-old Amanda, to making snow towers and throwing snowballs with three-year-old Weston in his Santa Fe front yard two days ago!

Are you confused? Me too! But now as I sequester (even if only for two days) and reflect here at home, I will sort it all out. I journaled, of course, on my trips, and I will be re-reading, praying, thinking, looking for the meaning of it all, pulling out those jewels of Truth that reside in each precious moment and event, and sharing some of it with you, some of it in my stories, all of it more richly in my life.

For this, I am so grateful to be Home for Christmas.