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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Eve, Eve

Today is the day before Christmas Eve. As old as I am I still get excited to see Christmas come. Today is an especially exciting day because this evening I am going to tag along while Santa makes a very special visit to some young children. We are first going to visit the grandchildren of a very good friend of mine who I have known all of my life. Next, we will visit the son of one of my co-workers. I am excited to see the wonder and excitement in their eyes. How wonderful to be a small innocent child who believes in the magic and excitement of this season. I am sad that as grownups we loose that magic. We don’t believe in miracles like Christmas anymore.

Snow falls regularly in the Midwest during the winter months. As adults we groan because we have to scoop, dig, and move that snow. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could, at least for a few minutes look at that snow and see how beautiful it is? We are so blessed to see 4 seasons in this area.

Spring is exciting as our earth wakes up and plants begin to come back to life. Trees are dressed in their bright green garb and start to work on bringing fruits of one kind or another to us. My garden is cleaned up from the winter mulch and the soil is prepared to accept seeds and plants. This coming spring will also see baby chicks at Pooh Acres. I am hoping to also bring a baby pig into the equation this year.

Summer will bring lots of growth in the garden as well as the baby animals. We will nurture the gardens and the animals. In late summer or early fall we will begin the process of storing, or laying by food for the winter months. The gardens will produce many bushels of fruits and vegetables. These will be canned, frozen or dried. The chickens and the pig will be slaughtered for the freezer. Some of the chickens will of course be saved for eggs.

Fall brings the closing of the seasons, and putting everything to bed. After the gardens are harvested thick mulch will be laid over the soil to be used as a warm blanket to protect it from the harsh snow and ice. The leaves will turn brilliant colors then fall and turn brown. We use the leaves to cover the soil and let it rot into the fertile nutrients for use the following year.

As winter begins, everything is cold, bland, and dreary. It is time for everything and everyone to rest. After a time of no color and cold we will see the first snow of the season. Our pasture will be covered with a blanket of pure white. If you take the time to stand outside while it is snowing you can catch a snowflake on your glove. If you take the time to actually look at it, you will see something more beautiful than any piece of art created by mankind. No two are alike. You will only be able to see that beauty briefly because it will melt on your hand, or if it falls into the mass of other flakes it will loose its identity. If you catch a snowflake on your tongue you will taste something slightly sweet and very cold. It will last only a split second then melt.

It is a pain to scoop snow and keep the roads open. It is a pain to tromp through the snow and ice to bring water and food to the animals. But, how can you look at an egg, knowing it came out of one of the chickens, and not be filled with wonder and awe? How can you hear the chickens cooing softly when they are happy and not smile? How can you see the love and excitement of an adolescent (and an elderly) dog when you come home and not feel totally loved? We live in a world filled with miracles, and tend to look over them because we are so used to seeing them. Step back. Pretend you have never seen a snow flake. Pretend you have never felt the kiss of a dog who loves you with all of his or her heart. Pretend you have never tasted a tomato still warm from the summer sun. How boring our lives would be without these small miracles.

Today as we head into the Christmas weekend, I am thankful for the fun side of Christmas as well as the real reason we celebrate. December 25 is not Jesus birthday, but it is the day we should celebrate the sacrifice he made for us all. I hope as we celebrate we have fun, but also give thanks for all we have been blessed with.

Merry Christmas

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