And A Very Merry Christmas


To you.

The day is winding down.

The tree is slightly askew.

But I bought it that way, don’t fret.

My nod to a Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

Or a “humility tree” as I learned when I was up in Anchorage; where, yes, I was given the opportunity to place the one and only little red bulb on the bent bough.

One of just a few memories that popped into my head as I reflected on my day and watched the surf pound the sand.

Yes.

I spent Christmas down by the sea.

Not all of it.

Although, I suppose I could argue that I did, considering how close to Ocean Beach I live.

My guy had obligations that took him out of the city today, so I made the big Christmas dinner last night: bacon wrapped baked rib eye w/blue cheese butter and pomegranate reduction, garnished with garlic mushrooms and pomegranate seeds; tossed salad with romaine hearts and black olives, cherry tomatoes, and organic radishes; baked Japanese sweet potato with sea salt and whipped butter; baby asparagus with shaved parmesan cheese and prosciutto; and last, but not least, marscapone infused with cinnamon and nutmeg and the last of the season persimmons and medjool dates stuffed with Roquefort blue cheese and topped with strawberries.

Yeah.

I roll like that.

Notice, if you will, because although I don’t bristle when folks exclaim, “oh my God!  What do you eat if you don’t eat sugar or flour?” that I did not make a thing that required said ingredients.  I always find it funny that, I must not eat well if I exclude those food items or things that have those food items in them.

I eat damn well.

And I did as well tonight, with  my guy back from his trip, but simpler so that we could actually eat before it was too late.

Tonight we had breakfast for dinner: scrambled eggs with garlic crimini mushrooms, asparagus tips, a bit of left over prosciutto from last night, parmesan cheese, paired up with chicken apple sausage and yogurt for the man, and marscapone cheese for me, with strawberries and blackberries.

My guy also got toast.

I bought the tiny little loaf of SemiFreddi’s at the store yesterday.

Perfect for slicing up some toast and using some organic small vat butter.

And yes, I talk the talk, but I can attest to the quality of the food not just because I ate it, but so did he and he washed the dishes too.

Good man.

Good God damn.

I am a lucky girl.

I thought today, again, as I walked down to the beach with a blanket and a book that a dear friend had given me for Christmas, my lunch (left over salad from dinner last night and an apple–I can’t eat like I did very often add to that I had oysters and tartar the other night and the Absinthe burger–no bun–after the symphony on Tuesday night, I have eaten well and richly for this week), dressed in love’s trappings–flip-flops on my feet, a light sweatshirt and a sundress, adorned with some sunblock Santa left underneath the Christmas tree.

I have had a lovely week.

I really have.

Even when my head has gotten in the way.

I was able to step out of if, do some writing, do some inventory, and get readjusted really fast.

I know that the holidays are the holidays and that I treat them as such, just another day I get to have on this planet.

Just another moment, yes, layered with memories, but just another day of opportunity to practice love, service, gratitude.

This is water.

The surf crashed, the waves unfurled with all the winter magnitude and majesty of Ocean Beach and I held the small book in my hand and was quiet for a little while.

My friend had gifted me David Foster Wallace’s commencement speech that was published in essay form, “This is Water” and I had read the book in two sittings, perhaps fifteen minutes each, between last night and this afternoon at the beach.

This is Water

Contemplative Christmas by the Sea

I could choose to see the garbage in the dunes and be unkind in my mind about litter bugs, or I could look at it as a sort of point of focus that brought all the beauty of the sea and sand and ocean together.

Sometimes when I see something ugly I have to choose a different perspective to appreciate what I have.

I could grouse about the tourists who couldn’t wait to get off the beach and take their 7-Eleven pizza box with them.

Or I could be grateful that today, instead, I choose to feed myself well, organically, and lovingly, and with kindness.

That I took time today, despite it’s Christmas, because it’s Christmas, to do laundry and put fresh sheets on my bed, to meditate, to write, four, no six! Six pages long hand.

That I called people I love and left messages and that I just showed up for whatever the day was going to give me.

That is the gift.

The amends.

The way of living that I take, or try to the best of my ability, to take daily, to live a honorable and will lived life.

Yeah, Christmas can throw it all into high relief, the gift buying, the special foods, the racking your brain over what so and so would like, the juggling of everyone’s schedule, sending gifts out, parties, dresses, expectations.

Oh, expectations.

Or, as someone said to me recently, “white girl problems.”

I had some and I let them go, drift away on the sand and the tide and the sea and I paused as they danced into the air on the backs of the speckled brown wild plovers dashing in and out of the surf, and I said, goodbye, I don’t need to see it that way and the world tilted, the shift happened, the perspective changed.

Gratitude.

Mile and miles and miles of it.

For my family, my health, my little Charlie Brown Christmas tree, for getting to go to the San Francisco Symphony with my honey for the Charlie Brown Christmas special, the lights of City Hall all festive and bright as seen from the roof top balcony of the Symphony building.

Christmas in San Francisco

City Hall San Francisco

Grateful for beautiful silver earrings from my boyfriend in the shape of wings, that remind to be angelic, sweet, gentle, with myself and the experience.

Grateful that my grandma and my uncles headed up to Anchorage Alaska to see my father, so that he was not alone on this Christmas.

Grateful for my sister and her family and my mom and her partner down in Florida being close.

For though I was alone part of the day, I never felt lonely or lost or out to sea when I allowed myself to see exactly the gifts that I have in my life.

And oh, there are so many more than the ones listed, they are just a drop in the bucket, a speck of foam on the cusp of wave unfurling out at the shore.

My life, my love bucket full, my grateful heart, my friends, and family, and employers, and fellowship, my boyfriend, my perspective, a blessing.

Graced with gratitude for it these gifts.

Merry Christmas to all.

And to all.

A very good night.

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