Friday, December 31, 2010

Bodhi's birthday

To celebrate Bodhi's special day we drove up to Glenwood Springs on Christmas afternoon and took up residence at the Hotel Colorado across from the hot springs.  Bodhi had a fabulous three day extravaganza, swimming, playing, eating and skiing.  Here are a few snapshots of the fun:

Happy Birthday lil' one.  I will post his latest story book ala Mom soon, keep checking back.

Christmas morning

We had a sweet and simple Christmas at our house with Baba, Mojo and our family reduced by one, Owen spent this Christmas in Illinois with his other family.
Bodhi's favorite gift was this "super hero in a box" given by some dear family friends.
 He had a blast!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dad's love

My Dad is an enigmatic creature, one minute he is wandering about like an absent minded dingbat and in the next he is spouting off deep, soulful wisdom that rocks you to the core.  You can never be truly certain which will surface, the wandering fool or the brilliant sage.  They seem inextricably linked.  Today, on the phone, he spoke of love.  He said,  "One should always rejoice over love, for all things of this world pass away and LOVE is a beautiful experience.  You should give yourself freely to it. You should hold nothing back out of fear of loss or pain.  Like all experiences it will pass into something else, but it is better to have lived it than, in your fear, hide from its embrace".
Gotta love that ole' guy...

Monday, December 6, 2010

A recent article I wrote for our newsletter at work

Simplicity. The word itself sounds discordant amidst the busy rush of the holiday season and yet it is a word that keeps filling my mind. I ponder it, turning it this way and that, examining its different angles. I try to put it down after days of contemplation but it won’t be still. It isn’t ripe yet in my understanding. Then I begin to wonder, why are many of us so busy and stressed during the holiday season? Once the trees have dropped their leaves and all of nature is turning inward for a long sleep, why are we so busy? As parents, most of our busyness stems from a simple desire to cultivate meaningful celebrations for our children (which can be anything but simple in a diverse family like mine, who tends to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah AND Solstice). So I ask myself, what makes a celebration meaningful? Is it our busy-buying-wrapping-doing-rushing in and out of stores? Does the desire for meaningful celebrations preclude simplicity?
I walk into stores already jing-jang-jingling enthusiasm and stand amidst toys, treats and decorations, contemplating simplicity. Amidst the noise, I recall my favorite holiday memories: a thanksgiving spent feeding the homeless on Haight-Ashbury, cool December evenings watching my mother carefully unwrap handmade ornaments, created by each of her four children and handled like gold, while my brothers and I sat drinking warmed eggnog, immersed in the smell of pine and the sweet anticipation of mom’s peppermint ice-cream. The memories most of us cherish from our early years seldom revolve around the toys grouped and wrapped beneath trees, rather they tend to spring from the simple rituals of our family, commonplace and filled with meaning: making homemade greeting cards, lighting a menorah, eating latkes drizzled with applesauce and honey, baking cookies, stringing garlands or roasting chestnuts. Interestingly, the memories we carry with us from our childhood celebrations are seldom the big, grand gestures, but rather the sweet moments and rituals of connecting. “Simplicity” invites us to drop the busy, rushing, hurry of the season and sink deeply into our connections with the ones we love. In reflecting, I discovered that it is never what we purchase and wrap that matters most, but rather the simple spirit of giving that fills our interactions, our in breath and exhale. Living deeply within the little rituals that make the season special for our own family nourishes the spirit of giving and connection that makes every celebration meaningful.