My dedication is to my family and my faith.
This blog is updated when inspiration strikes and time is available.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas Spirit

Through Advent and into the Christmas season. Gifts have been given, and presents received. We lit all the candles, set up the nativity scenes, trees, and lights. Santa visited and we celebrated Jesus's birth with rejoicing. The kids are excited, and most adults, but why do some of us feel something missing? Why can't we muster the Christmas spirit?

Maybe the reason why is less important than realizing that Christmas spirit must be mustered. For many, especially children, this can be very easy. It seems to come naturally. But I have come to realize that sometimes the joyful feeling of Christmas does not just come automatically. Here I am, at the beginning of my adult life, and suddenly I didn't feel as excited about Christmas. Suddenly something was missing, though I had gone through all the steps. As soon as I put my finger on it, I realized that I went through all the work of preparing for the physical aspects of Christmas, decorating, presents and cards, and finally visiting family, but I had not worked on the spiritual.

Sometimes, Christmas spirit is not right there waiting. For me, it was because my heart was not ready for the spirit, because I needed to work for it and prepare myself. Christmas is not just about the physical things, people say that all the time but I usually figured they were just talking about remembering Jesus's coming. But it also means remembering joy, peace, and love. It means enjoying time alone amongst the bustle, and enjoying time with friends and family too. It means actively seeking the spirit of Christmas in whatever way works best for each person. For me, I needed to slow down a little and step out of the bustle of life a bit. Doing some crafts, drawing some pictures, and writing out my feelings helped. Next year I will remember to seek my Christmas spirit sooner, during Advent's time of preparing set aside for just such things.

Here is another doodle for you to enjoy, one that brought me peace as I drew it on a family car trip.

The Christmas spirit that many take for granted is important to remember, to work at not only in December but throughout the year. It is a process that may be slow and difficult, but forgetting to take the effort can leave a person feeling in good company with the Grinch and Mr. Scrooge.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Campus Magic

Why the college campus where I attended school is magical, in terms of weather conditions.

Today I found myself walking north into 25mph winds from the north, with a fine snow falling in a sideways-into-your-eyes direction. Underfoot was a nice shoe high drift of powdery white snow to slosh through. Though I only walked a block to get to the bus shelter, I ran the last little ways to avoid what I was sure was freezing to death. Once in the shelter every little crack in the structure seemed to bite me with the wind whistling through. I stood on the bench to keep my feet thawed, the shelter does not reach all the way to the ground. The bus finally came and I was saved. Unfortunatelly it would leave me three whole blocks from my destination, a journey I was not looking forward to given my past one block treck. The bus stopped less than ten minutes later, and I cautiously steped out into the snowy world again. To my surprise and delight, the snow was falling in a mostly straight down direction now. The breeze was gentle, and instead of my walk being a stretched out repeat of my previous treck, it was a stroll through the winter wonderland of a snowglobe. Those three blocks were all that I love about winter, the quiet snow muted sounds, the sparkling sky and ground, the brisk not too cold temperature, and the crunch under my boots. As I walked I wondered at the change. I had started to the north of the college campus, and north of that is mostly business places selling food to hungry college students. I found my winter wonderland to the south of campus, so now I had all the twisting streets and big buildings sitting around in not so straight lines between me and there. I knew that buildings are great at blocking out weather conditions, but I was walking about three car lengths away from most of the buildings, and expected the wind would have whistled around or over the college campus and darted straight down at me again. But it didn't. After I thought about it a bit I realized that is probably why I never thought the blizards were bad when I was a freshman there. I lived on campus, and in the heart of those protective buildings it was no trouble at all to get to my classes, which I often did before finding they were cancled for a blizzard. This is what made me decide that college campuses similar to the one I attended, and other such groupings of buildings close together and not built along straight roads, are quite magical. They can tame the weather and allow those who wander among them to enjoy the outdoors away from the wind that plagues us all in this area. Explain it with science all you want, laugh and say you knew that a long time ago, I don't really mind. Because someone has to take the time to notice the little magical things in life once in a while.