December 24, 1990
We were on our way out to dinner at a nearby state park lodge. Our Christmas Eve ritual was to load everyone into the van in order to head to our dinner destination. Every year, never fail, Mark would excuse himself to run back into the house to retrieve some "forgotten" item. In actuality, there was a plan: he'd use that time to pull the presents out, display them under the tree, drink the milk and nibble the cookies left for Santa--all before heading back out to join us. That particular year, I remember there was snow on the ground. As we drove into the park for our Christmas Eve feast, two deer ran through the snow--only a few feet before us. Holiday lights shining in the trees behind them, the boys proclaiming them (each in his own exuberant way) to be "Santa's reindeer;" it was absolutely precious...as are so many holiday memories I hold near and dear.
What I have come to understand is that being fully present does not mean I can't fondly recall the past or excitedly plan for the future. Just like the present, the past and future are also vital to my happiness. It is the practice of mindfulness--while visiting past, present or future--that transforms wherever I choose to go into the gift I give myself.
Wishing you the cheer of the past, the sacredness of the present and comfort in the future! Joy & peace, T.