Tuesday, December 25, 2012

An Untraditional Christmas

My family loves Christmas.    Over the years, our traditions have become like a finely oiled machine.  Driving around looking at Christmas lights (especially as soon as the person coming home for Christmas has just arrived from a long journey), perogies (the recipe that my mother created and cannot be duplicated), my sister's Christmas cake (that she has perfected), and like many others - the feast, the tree and beautifully wrapped presents.

The family is scattered now so Christmas has become the tradition of following the one who works in retail.  Aimee has to work both Christmas Eve and Boxing Day so her mobility is restricted.   Three months ago she moved to Victoria so this is where I have come to spend Christmas.  The complication is the other child who is spending Christmas with his "in-laws" and will join us on Boxing Day. 

We have decided to have Christmas on the 27th. 

Which means that Aimee and I are hanging out in Victoria on Christmas Day - not doing Christmas things.  

Except we aren't doing them alone.  In Starbucks, Aimee lined up for the coffees while I secured a seat.   There was a lineup for the hour we were there. 

We had decided to go out for Chinese food for our Christmas dinner.  After 15 phone calls with the only one restaurant with the worst reviews open, we decided to go out and see what was happening.   We did find a Burger King which was pretty busy; Aimee said if we went there, we would have been the only ones employed.  But really our palates were set on Chinese food. 

We went into China Town; there were a few restaurants open but not as many as I had imagined.  One that told us there was no room.  Reservations only is what the sign said on the door.  I went inside.  Do you have a reservation? they asked.  No.  Sorry, she said.  Can I make one?  She looked at me.  8 o'clock.  Yes, I said. 

It is time.  Ready for Christmas dinner....

Friday, December 21, 2012

The 14th Bak'tun

Today is the beginning of the 14th bak'tun, a time measured by the Maya.  If we were the ancient Maya, we would be having grand celebrations and would be admiring the new faces on our pyramids. We would see new inscriptions the scribes had etched into stone monuments, on the walls of the ceremonial centres, and books dedicated to this memorable time.

The astronomers would be watching the sky carefully and advising the scribes what they see.  The planetary alignments would be as much a part of their records as who the rulers are.

The Solstice is one of my favourite days of the year.  It is a marking point.  It is the end of pendulum.  It is a time for looking at where we were and a time to look at where we are going.  It is an internal time.

In the Kootenays, pyramids dot the landscape - in the form of hills of snow.  From Wednesday night to Thursday, there was an accumulation of 31 cms snow in my back yard.  The local ski hill has a base of 255 cms.

Morning - December 20th - my front stairs
In a practical sense, what this means is that there has been a lot of shovelling going on.  Sweeping the snow off the car created a snowbank.  And there is simply no place to put all that snow.  Snow only piles so high. 

When I look down at the laneway, I can see that getting out of my cozy parking spot might be a possible.  When I look up the laneway, I doubt that I will be able to get back in.  I have decided to make my life simpler and walk.  And my car will sit.

I don't mind.  It helps me look at the world in a fresh way.

The Maya had a good point.  We need to look at the world differently.