“$25 for your G string?” My daughter giggles and I shoot her some side eye. We are FaceTiming her teacher because on the eve of the holiday recital, the G string on her violin has broken. Of course I have no replacement. Because of course it breaks, because of course we were also supposed to be celebrating her birthday today, but it snowed this morning and understandably, no one wanted to risk driving on dangerous roads. So now the new plan is we’re celebrating an early Christmas tonight because my daughter goes away for winter break with her father next week. Next week when I was supposed to be going to Bali on a group cycling trip but that was thwarted by a cantankerous earth zit known as Mount Agung that’s been spewing smoke, ash and lava and wreaking general volcanic havoc on travelers. Not the kind of white Christmas you want. So my Plan B was to possibly go to California, but now California is burning. My heart goes out to my friends and everyone in the state who has had to evacuate, who’ve lost or are at risk of losing their homes, to everyone enduring bad air and a feeling of dread as white ash rains from the sky.
As I’m hurriedly wrapping Christmas presents, I turn on some holiday music to try to get into the spirit. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas plays…
Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Let your heart be light
From now on our troubles will be out of sight
Let your heart be light. My friend’s son was hit by a car this week. He’s injured, but thankfully will survive.
From now on our troubles will be out of sight. Another dear friend had major surgery this week. She too is okay and for that I’m grateful. Optimism is a choice, I remind myself.
Someday soon we all will be together
If the fates allow
Until then we’ll have to muddle through somehow
So have yourself a merry little Christmas now
Muddle. That’s this year’s holiday theme. We all will indeed just have to keep muddling through and somehow we will. Muddling, staying flexible, turning on a dime, getting ready for Plans A through Z. It’s hard to know what the fates will bring, only to trust ourselves that we’ll handle it.
This holiday season let’s pause to come together and celebrate, to try to set our troubles aside for even a short while and delude ourselves just a tiny bit. In this special window of time let’s summon our hope and our optimism that next year the world will be better, we will be better. With some combination of luck and enormous effort, I believe that we will.
My new plan is a solo trip to three countries, visiting three new cities I’ve never been, subject to change, of course. I hope to write more from the road.
Wishing you and yours a safe and peaceful holiday season.