i was taken by surprise. as the sun beat down and the lazy bumble bees awoke from their slumber i was taken by surprise.
spring has arrived. whilst i meticulously created resources and perfected my enthusiastic face the seasons changed outside my window.
i watched as ants clambered over one another and swallows swoop from the nest they had crafted in the roof of a neighbours house.
i thought about it all. all the mess and the noise and struggle of the term. i thought about the ease with which i have completed the teaching.
and of the determination i have used up to drag myself home each night.
i thought about driving away. about crickets chirping in the oppressive heat.
i thought about all the things that make up my life, of all the things that are bought to make up my world, of all the times i think, 'i want.'
i thought about how much energy it takes to be 2. about how much energy it takes to climb the rungs of forgiveness and settle down in the fort you have created for yourself.
in the sunshine. with the crickets chirping and the bumblebees softly roaming around.
it's funny how flying colours don't apply to the hollow valleys of life.
my hope for you is that you live life, that you breath deep the humid fragrance of mundane chores and wild adventures,
that you gaze at the moon each night and journal about the sound of each rain drop as it carelessly tumbles to its inevitable death.
my hope is that you care more about your land,
about your history,
about the mark you are making,
and less about the hair you are sporting or what the next girl is wearing.
my hope, my deep seated gut wrenching desire, is that you life real life,
that you love real friends,
that you work for real change.
that you do not forget the bright lights and brighter still the stars.
that feeling of being somewhere that can be all of the above, with none of the pitfalls of technology and waste.
create real life.
cultivate actual change.
Christmas is a tricky one for me.
I like presents.
I like making my house pretty.
I like taking time to think about gifts i want to get my friends and family.
I like wrapping things.
I like the spirit of generosity and kindness it breeds in people.
I like the magic of the season.
Father Christmas dropping down a chimney.
A baby being born to a virign.
I like the hope that has to come with it.
I like being allowed to watch terrible terrible Christmas movies and spending days not doing much at all.
I like my family.
But not all my family is here, and whilst this is a fact I battle with every day of the year, on Christmas day it is made all that more apparent.
As much as I love all the things that come with Christmas - all these things are always left that little bit empty because my brother is not here to share them.
I think it is important to remember us at this time of the year.
The forgotten ones. The people who find this day not full of peace and joy and love.
Who strive to find those things, but who struggle for those things on these days.
I can be glad that there was once a baby and a stable and astronomers and magic. Whether you believe it to be a true story or not, it is still one full of hope and gladness and grace.
And on holidays like this one, I am thankful for all those things.
Merry Christmas, friends. New York beckons tomorrow, so I'll be back in the New Year!
Here's my banjo-heavy-redneck-wannabe-not-traditionally-christmasy mix tape for you all :) Download here.
1. Christmas Eve - John White
2. Walk Out To Winder - Aztec Camera
3. Santa Claus Is Back In Town - My Morning Jacket
4. All My Bells Are Ringing - Lenka
5. The Man in the Santa Suit - Fountains of Wayne
6. Don't Shoot Me Santa - The Killers
7. Xmas Prison Blues - Seasick Steve & The Levil Devils
8. Hard Candy Christmas - Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers
9. Christmas Lights - Coldplay
10. Holiday Mood - The Apples in Stereo
11. Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing - Sufjan Stevens
12. Winter Winds - Mumford and Sons
13. Unreasonable Dream: Christmas Night - Emily Barker & The Arctic Circle Ensemble & The Puffin Voices
14. But For You Who Fear My Name - The Welcome Wagon
15. The First Snowflake - The Boy Least Likely To
16. White is in the Winter Night - Enya
1, 8. 11 and 14 are probably my favourites right now. Not including Mumford of course...
In my mind bunting should be used for all and any holiday/celebration/event. So it was obvious I would need it for my tree this year.
What with the crazy PGCE I am doing I have only just put [one of] my trees up this last weekend. I have a feeling I will not finish decorating my house by Christmas, but as long as my tree is pretty, everything is fine.
Here's a handy how-to for making your own miniature Christmas tree bunting :) You can click on the image to see if full size.
KS asked me to be a part of this Christmas vlog she was creating.
I promptly forgot she had asked me. (There seems to be a pattern here.)
So then I shot a super quick, super late vlog of what Christmas means to me.
Maybe one day, I'll recreate a personal one, where I am not half asleep and talking as if I am asleep.
But I seem to have a lot of 'one day' thoughts these days.