Ah, December - you show up so quickly.
December is when fall comes to this part of Texas, and the oaks sprinkled among the many junipers (we call them "Cedars"), for a short time, change color. Here's a little guy over by the woodshop I kind of watch over. It can be in the 70s or in the 30s; every day is different. Today was short sleeves and it looks like it's going to be a bit more brisk over the weekend. But no complaints for sure - a shout out to Greg, a client up in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories in Canada. He's about 20 below zero right now! This little oak and I, we'll take this thank you.
December is when I make the master list – pages and pages of, by specific instrument, every step between where they sit at the moment in the process and them leaving nestled snugly in their cases on their way home. Any instrument I think will leave here in 2017 made it on. This list usually happens at the beginning of December because I like to be done for the year about… well, a few days ago! This year we’re going straight through. Some nights you drive it into the dawn. So the big list was made last week and one by one they’re flying the nest. More an exchange than gifts, but the intangible that comes with these tools and their potential for service and inspiration, the love and respect and wishes of wellness for my clients and their circles – and you and yours too – I hope that comes across and through somehow and the highest in me offers it to the highest in you. Especially if you’re the one whose hands will make them sing now that they’re brought to life.
Late December also brings reminders of the single greatest card I ever received. It was a Christmas card from my father, a drawing of a man in a Santa Claus suit around the corner from a door leading to a decorated tree and a party. He’s standing in the hallway opening his suit, obviously uncomfortably hot in it. Underneath it was written:
Chet’s nuts roasting in an open foyer.
Having a Christmas tree is one of those things I haven’t done in my adult life – as a kid I saw the biggest and brightest and I think we even did a real one a few times. But, like visiting other countries, watching movies and TV so I know just who in the hell everybody’s talking about (man – those Titanic years were the worst) and having a rack of ties, putting up a tree is something this unusual life hasn’t worked in to its ways. And I’m fine with all of that but do aim to fix that first one eventually. I hear Sicily is beautiful and I'd love to see Paracho, Mexico.
So I’m out with the chainsaw cutting up a tree taken out by one of the more Jurassic delivery drivers bringing stuff for a project at the homestead, and I come to the top of a branch and suddenly realize there it is - my Christmas tree. It might have been the light; I don’t know. I offered a few words as I freed it from its tragic event, carried it over and propped it up right by the workshop door. You might wonder if I’m going to do anything with it – I would say I’ve already done quite a bit. With one touch, in one moment, it changed from drag brush to a standing symbol of reverence and hope. The morning sun coming over the trees shines right on it; it needs no further adornment from me! For a time, however damaged, it will stand as a tree of its own. It will not last, none do. But it will have its moment to shine.
As you gather this weekend with family & friends, on a day that means so much to so many, each of whom may be fighting battles you know nothing about, be gentle. As you look upon the feast be reverent. There will probably be an empty chair there wasn’t last year or maybe one side of the table has a little more elbow room… be grateful for the time that was had and the good things that were shared with them. Love and be loved – it does not require that you understand or be understood. We are richer through each other, even those of us who do better at a distance. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays or just a great day of gratitude to all of you on behalf of all of us.
Listening to: Live Eddie Money shows from 77-80, because Jimmy Lyon is one of my absolute favorite guitar players. Check out “Call on me.” Also listening to the entire 5CD set of the Grateful Dead movie soundtrack. Just prime stuff played at their peak with lots of jamming… and Aomoxoa. About to dig out Sinatra and Dean Martin and Louie Prima because it’s Christmas and you can take the Italian off the east coast but you’ll never get the east coast out of the Italian. Salud! Mangia, mangia.