This will mark my third Christmas as a Flotsam Diarist.
My third Christmas seeing the world through a different set of eyes. Eyes that seek out -- and thrill to find -- the unexpected connections in our world. Between nature's beauty & bounty and the threads we weave as we build our lives. Eyes that spy a glimmering grain of sand in my daughter's shovel on the beach and imagine it once high and proud on a now-lost mountainside. Eyes that see springtime rivers running strong with snowmelt, emptying into churning seas, nutrients mixing and spawning incredible plankton blooms. Blooms that feed an ocean and give us every second breath of life we take.
Eyes that grimace & wince at needless waste, thoughtless pollution, the harm we sow which our children and grandchildren will reap. Eyes that study the staggering costs of things we've been taught to call "cheap." That see, week after week, a gorgeous deserted cove ruined with newly-laid cast-offs of modern life.
I think of the incredible gift of being aware of the beauty around us, of a past that stretches back impossibly far, or a distant future that we are building today -- this very minute -- at the same time that it's molding and building us. The gift of knowing that there are forces far beyond us, and also that the smallest person can be the snowflake that starts the avalanche.
We may be the only species on Earth with the ability to ruin Earth. But we're also the only species that can appreciate it. To well up with emotion at a pink & golden sunrise; or feel the pull of the sea as we walk an undiscovered and unmarred stretch of shore; or smell the salt air and think on our distant ancestors and our distant descendants doing the same. To burst with the need to create art & song & beauty that had never before existed, in much the same way as we had never before existed.
To become bigger than the moment, bigger than we are.
To me, Christmas is a message of hope. A message that love and light are true things; that ugliness and shadow are mockeries that can't touch or harm those eternal truths. It's a message that the holiest and the highest could rest within a human heart. And that if we look inside, and then look outside again with new eyes, we might see glimpses of what we're all searching for. Guideposts.
The Flotsam Diaries isn't what I do; it's who I am. And I wouldn't have it any other way.