Thursday, December 29, 2011
Merry Christmas and to all a good night. And good morning.
Whether we are at home or traveling, few days of the year carry a stronger sense of place than Christmas.
In Colleen Monroe's "A Wish to be a Christmas tree" a "tall lonely tree" sees the other pines and firs chosen for Christmas trees, but he cries, " I'll never be taken home."
His friends tell him, "Do not fear, to us you are dear."
"Your branches keep us safe and warm, you are our shelter from the storm," says the squirrel, who rallies the birds, the mice, and the rabbits, saying, "Everyone should bring a treasure so our giant friend can measure, the love for him that our hearts hold, the feelings that we've never told."
As the tree sleeps,
"His woodland friends decorated him
With special things hanging from every limb," acorns, icicles, berries, even the birds themselves.
As "the first morning sun brought a wondrous sight, the birds were singing so soft and clear,
Their most beautiful songs for the pine tree to hear.
The big tree stirred and opened his eyes,
And what he saw was such a surprise.
'You have made me beautiful for all to see,
and now I am a Christmas tree.'
"You are more than just a Christmas tree,"
they said to him, "Why can't you see?
You are special to us every day of the year,
Through winter and spring, summer and fall,
You are always here to help us all."
And the tree sees that "it wasn't as important to be a Christmas tree,
But to always be the best friend you could be."
The tree and the gifts it gives is part of what Patricia Gorman wrote about in "Love Was Born on Christmas":
"I was born to the world on Christmas, but I have existed since the beginning.
I am the simple gift of God.
I was gift-wrapped with a soft, tender body of a baby.
My ribbons were streams of divine light.
I was placed under the Tree of Truth, and opened through the seeking of it.
I am given and received.
I am the spirit of Christmas.
I am not the Christmas carol, but the urge to sing it.
I am not the present, but the act of giving it.
I am not the town of Bethlehem, but the creation of it.
I am not the world, but the reason behind it.
I am not your natural state of being.
I am here.
I am love."
Peace, and peace of mind, to all, wherever you may be this Christmas.
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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive
The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge