Holiday Traditions

Sunday Shares: Holiday Rush to Rest

It’s been a week. Sigh.

I had a car accident on the way to a holiday party. An unidentified, unsecured, flying object tumbled onto my freeway lane. It was a box the size of a big-screen TV. Before I could safely swerve out of the lane, I hit the UFO. The CHP had to do a freeway block across the lanes to pick up the debris.

We were not injured, but the bumper and headlight were destroyed.

The next day, I tried to cheer myself up and make the best of a bad situation. I listened to traditional, jazzy, and lo-fi Christmas music for the next few days. Gave gratitude that the only sore spots on my body were my lower back and my irritation that the driver of the other car didn’t stop.

Without a car, I’ve slowed down and reflected on past holidays.

When I was a single mom during the holiday season, I was working full-time, shopping for gifts, decorating the house, helping with the tamale making, corraling three active kids who had holiday recitals, wanted to see Christmas tree lighting ceremonies, and visit the two Christmas Tree Lanes in different cities. (I’m sure I left something out).

Now my kids are adults, and the holiday rush has become less active. It’s now a holiday rest.

red, green, white Christmas character on front yard with. lights

What remains is making pork tamales with my mom and sisters a week before Christmas, making vegetarian/vegan tamales with my kids, and getting together with them and their SO’s on Christmas Eve. We have a potluck, drink champurrado, and play games.

Two new plans on our holiday calendar are:

  1. Make a gingerbread house. I don’t know how that’ll turn out, but we’ll see how it goes.
  2. Placing our 106-year-old Baby Jesus in the manger. He came to us with an exciting story about how he lost his pinkie finger. (How that happened is in my monthly newsletter).

I’m grateful the car incident didn’t leave us physically damaged. And for that, I’ll celebrate. And rest.

The poem for this week is more lighthearted.

Best wishes for a safe and thoughtful holiday.

Encouragement, Gratitude, Inspiration

A New Garden of Hope Restores

Low water garden-photo by AlvardoFrazier
Low water garden-photo by AlvardoFrazier

One day the mulch covered the ground, dense and moist, an earthy covering for a new garden. Today, weeds sprouted everywhere. This seemed like an allegory of recent life.

Dirt under fingernails, the smell of damp earth, I pulled on shallow roots, plucked them with ease, until one pricked my fingers. Ouch. Microscopic spines lost themselves under my flesh. Time to quit, take a breather and wander the garden.

Two months later, the sculptural beauty of succulents seemed more pronounced. Orange milkweed leaned toward the lichen-spotted rock, both sharing colors.

milkweed, lichen covered rock in garden
Milkweed and Lichen-Covered Rock-AlvaradoFrazier

Feathery fronds on the Mimosa branches danced. Two lizards skittered across the pebbly patio floor, diving into a crimson mound of bougainvillea.

Tiny buds unfolded on the thin branches of the peach and tangerine trees. Green leaf flags from the birches waved a good morning.

Around the corner of the stucco wall, a baby rose bloomed sunshine among glossy leaves. A spiral of fragrance rose. Breath of beginnings.

yellow rose bud

Maybe it sounds simplistic to think the beauty of a garden can rectify the unruliness of the political scene or the horrors of terrorism in the world. It doesn’t.

But as I walk in my garden today, I take in the beauty and restore myself. I think of how I can be of service to someone, promise myself to practice more random acts of kindness.

More weeds will poke through the mulch and I’ll pluck them out. The trees will leaf up, the lizards will grow bigger, more roses will bloom.

I wait in my garden of hope.