Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays!

I'm busy baking away, as I imagine many out there are as well, but I wanted to pop in and wish every one happy holidays.

The sun has returned, but we've yet to see it here in our neck o' the woods where we've been gray, gloomy and rainy for ages now it seems. We just missed a white Christmas as the cold snap broke yesterday, leaving us with ice and inches of rain and mud but nothing like what's hit other parts of the country. This weather has made me keenly aware how tenuous off-grid solar would be for us: I think we'd be going into month 3 of no power at this point. I feel very grateful for the electricity that enables me to make nourishing food and wonderful treats as well as for all the other many blessings in my life.

I feel grateful for our basement family room that has taken us 3 years to create, which is now nearly done. Down here, it's always sunny with our yellow walls, warm with our woodstove, and filled with love and happy faces. Here, I can leave the outside gloom behind and snuggle in my cozy cave, dreaming of spring while I plan and rest.

I feel grateful for food and job security, for our land and animals, for all the choices we've made that have contributed to our relative insulation from the hardships hitting homes all around the world this season. I feel especially grateful that we've managed to disentangle ourselves from so many failing systems, and I feel hopeful that we can rebuild local ties from the ground up in ways that empower individuals. Mostly, at this reflective time of year, I feel grateful for my ability to remain optimistic and to be in a position to make plans for outreach and help in the coming year.

We'll be caroling and delivering cookies to neighbors tomorrow, something the girls have really pushed for, and something I've come to see the wisdom behind even if it means I have to sing. ;) We'll be adding another link in the community chain we're working to forge, hopefully bringing a little bit of light into other people's homes from a place they least expect it. We're still the new folks on the block around here, so making connections is important. We delivered cookies our first Christmas here, but have missed the last two years for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it's hard to be the outsider in a rural community, but I've noticed that there's not much interaction among folks here on our road, partly because we're so spread out. Maybe we can be the spark that ignites a new energy of neighborliness by reaching out and sharing a little of our time and ourselves. Maybe this small connection can create the space for larger connections when the time arises.

Happy holidays to all, wishing you peace, love, and joy this season.


el said...

Have a great warm holiday down in that sunny nest of yours!

I admire your optimism, knowing well it's not just the season talking, it's YOU. It can be so easy to fall into a well of negativity nowadays; the harder challenge is to find the ray of sunshine in all these clouds. I am grateful that you've shared so much here. You certainly have encouraged a bit of not-so-local community through this blog, and that's a good thing.

have fun with that gingerbread house!

Christy said...

We delivered fudge to all our neighbors today (all 5 of them). We are already feeling like part of a community here. They are going to have a fish fry to welcome us to the street next week.

I hope you guys have a great holiday! We miss you!

Oh, my word verification is mynest, seems appropriate for this post.

Country Girl said...

Beautiful post. Merry Christmas to you and your family!