Ah, ghost of Christmas Present, you are inescapably linked to the Ghost of Christmas Past! Everything in the past informs the present. Even the peanut butter fudge of the past casts an appearance on the waistline of the present. And so, precisely because there were melancholy times in the past, I am alone in the Present.
Yet, precisely because there were good times in the Past, I am melancholy in my aloneness. Ghost of Christmas Present, let us linger for a moment over the fabulous times in memory and why they inform the loneliness of the present. See the children, beautiful, talented, sensitive, intuitive children frolicking in the snow. See them performing in candlelight and on stages; watch as they open a crazy kind of warm winter clothing called cabin cozies in anticipation of acquiring a cabin. See the giggles and hugs and thank yous received for just the right gift – just the right need met with some thoughtful act on Christmas Eve or Morn. Ah, Ghost. Did you even consider that the deep joys of that present would cause the deep yearning of the empty nest?
No. Because, rightly so, we were present in that moment, not straining ahead to the future. Because I was a big part of that planning and anticipation and acquiring of a cabin, two children now have a quaint little cabin in which to make merry for the holidays, though I am no longer included in that merrymaking. Because I had children early in life, I now have grandchildren- and they are near enough to enjoy weekly.
So, Ghost of Christmas Present, what do I want today?
- To be present in my life as it is now
- To be at peace
- To be happy
These are not things you merely wait for, cloistered in your room. Admittedly, there are times I have to make myself go out – make myself take my fun like medicine. To be at peace and to be happy requires large doses of beauty. I needed beauty recently so I made myself go to The Nutcracker. I took time to dress up and I am glad I did even though nobody dresses anymore. The casting was superb, the dancers exquisite, the music soothing. Have you considered what an advantage it is to go out alone, to the symphony, when there is a single seat available front and center?
There have been other successes this year as well. In daily life, I manage a bookstore / gift store – a most covetable position for a writer, author and people-watcher. Over two separate weeks of vacation, I entered heartily into travel, visiting Zion, Bryce, Mesa Verde, Capitol Reef, Arches, Canyonlands, Hovenweep, Canyon of the Ancients, Black Canyon, and Petroglyph National Parks and Monuments. I slept four nights in my Subaru. I hiked all 46 miles of trails in Colorado National Monument as well as trails in the parks mentioned and numerous trails the length of Western Colorado. This is good, for there is nothing quite like hiking for keeping me in the present, at peace and happy – unless it is music.
Music continues to engage me in the present as well as bringing peace and happiness. The public performances have been fewer, the private more numerous. However, the public performances of my three grown children have increased and the young musicians I raise in the present are my grandchildren.
Walk on, weary traveler, in search of truth and beauty. In that way will you find peace and happiness and the ability to be present in your life as it is now.