To All A Good Night
This has been a rough year for many of us, particularly those who have lost loved ones. Wendy and I feel quite fortunate because although inconvenienced by Covid, we haven't suffered any real losses. We're still setting up the farm and don't have any income yet anyway, so our bottom line wasn't adversely impacted. Our application to receive support for installing a central heating system has been delayed so we're spending another winter without warmth from radiators, but we do have a wood-burning stove this year that's doing a good job warming the room where we spend most of our time.
And above the fire there are four stockings. My mom bought personalized ones for the kids a few years ago, so they've been on a mantle somewhere ever since the kids can remember. And this year Wendy made stockings for us using the two flannel shirts I wore on our seven-month road trip in 2017, then lined them with the two pair of pants I wore (and wore out).
Those stockings have traveled thousands of miles, hiked in more than 40 parks, and played with my children in dozens of campsites. They've stress-cried, argued, and reconciled. They've gone sledding on sand dunes, explored the Badlands with two of my closest friends, and celebrated Thanksgiving at a burr-ridden campsite in Texas adjacent to a toxic lake surrounded by cacti.
Yes, the fireplace is providing much-needed warmth this winter. But thanks to Wendy and my mom, the mantle also provides much-needed warmth: a connection to home, to quality time spent with friends and family, to love.
I hope the same for you this holiday season - that however different this year's celebration may be, the warmth you feel is the same.