Well, I did pick up the phone to call my good friend Wynona.
We didn’t talk long. Like me, she stays too busy everyday of the year and today I caught her on her way to visit the dentist. But we talked long enough for my eyes to grow watery. Not because of what she said. Or what I said — which is strange, since I love words so much. But oh my gosh, the tears came simply from hearing the sound of her voice. And if tears lead to heart’s truth — then it’s clear I’ve allowed myself to become Wynona-deprived.
Why is it that we don’t pick up the phone more often to speak to old friends — or family — to check in and hear the sound of their voices. Life gets in the way and I tell myself I’ll do it later — yes, I’ll do it after doing this or that — not really realizing I’m telling fibs to myself because — don’t you know — I always have a this and that in my life to do! And can I be the only one saying these things to myself, to deny myself such little pleasures in life — as a phone visit with a good friend?
While staying connected is important all the time, I’m only diligent about it this time of the year, when I take time to send out old-fashioned greeting cards. It’s sad that I don’t receive as many as I once did. And that a few I do receive sometimes carry hidden — or not so hidden motives — like the one I received this morning.
My first Christmas card of the season — no, after opening it again, I see it’s a “Holiday” Card rather than the Christmas variety, though the front of the card, as shown in the photo above, does contain a scene of the seeds of the season. “Peace” the headline says — and Lord knows, in a year where family feuding has rattled my home more that those four (or is it five?) earthquakes we’ve suffered — that’s all the card has to say to garner my full attention. So I open the card to read:
“May your Holiday Season be filled with all of the joy and peace on earth.”
It’s a nice wish. Though I’m greedy enough to wish that the peace and joy weren’t limited to just what we had on earth. But wait, beneath this greeting in a tiny soundbite of Scripture:
“God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.” St. Matthew 5:6
Justice is good, I suppose, though what is justice to one is not to another. Depending upon outlook, depending upon which side of the fence one stands on — which side of the war zone one lives in. Oh, I wish it had been a Scripture about peace — such as the one just a few verses down the page, which reads:
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” St. Matthew 5:9.
Yes, I’m being nit-picky. More than a nit, if I’m being honest. But not a nit-wit I think, because under the Scripture, is the name and address of my newspaper delivery man, who’s hoping — I’m pretty sure — that a card to me will inspire gifts of seasonal greenery. Because he’s such a good delivery man at all.
Well, truth is — he is. And so — not out of fear that my failure to respond will cause him to no longer connect with my front sidewalk, which he does with unerring accuracy — I’ll grant that wish. And I’ll do it for the best of reasons — because in doing so, I’ll connect — even if ever so dimly — with something far greater than myself — to that one “whose sandals I’m unfit to untie.”
Today I’ll tuck that monetary gift into a Christmas card with a simple “thanks.” Because sometimes less is more. Except, of course, when it comes to gifts of seasonal greenery. And staying connected with good friends — like Wynona.
‘Tis the season, apparently. I received my first card yesterday – from my bank. Of course it says “Greetings of the Season” rather than “Merry Christmas”, but I was a little surprised at the sentiment inside. It says, “We extend our best wishes for a joyous holiday season and SUCCESSFUL New Year”. So much for happiness, I guess. Maybe the economy’s worse than I realize, and the bankers do know something.
On the other hand, just as always, every employee of my branch, from the manager to the cashier trainee, signs the card personally. For that reason alone, I love the cards – the personal touch being somewhat lacking these days.
Which brings us around to keeping in touch. I’m still a telephoner, especially with the few relatives I have left, and close friends. I even call friends in Wales and England – at six cents a minute, why not? An hour’s chat every month for $3.60 still seems like a miracle to me.
Janell West said:
Your comment about the economy being worse that you realized — yes, I’m feeling that too, based on the “tightening down the hatch moves” being made by corporate America. At least, the one I’m most familiar with — not our local oil and gas companies; having the wildcatter mentality that they do — they would never think to tighten up any spending. Their philosophy seems to be — let the greenbacks flow — the good times roll — or is it let the lucky dice roll? It’s a strange dichotomy — this pushing out and pulling in — wondering which, if either, is right.
But nothing at all wrong about personal signatures of every branch member in your first seasonal greeting card. I rather like that attention to detail — my little card yesterday came ‘signed’ courtesy of an ink pad stamp — clear and pristine in its marking on the page. But it did the trick — the greenbacks are off and I know he’ll appreciate them — just as I appreciate him — just as your friends and family, near and far, appreciate your connecting to them.
Have a good day. Here, it’s looking like rain. 🙂
Rain? I see snow falling on your blog. 😉 But really, we just have a heavy snow fall here … these white flakes on the screen is nothing. Anyway, back to the Christmas Season. I admit I haven’t sent Christmas cards for a long time now, well, less than half a dozen yearly, and decreasing. But, the telephone is still in used. As much as I’d like to have face-to-face interactions, often it’s infeasible, esp. now with all the snow and clogged streets. Traffic is esp. ugly in the snow. So, I’m grateful for phone and online interactions. As for all the decorated trees we see these days, I just wonder, is the one on the White House ground being called a ‘holiday tree’ now?
Janell West said:
A National Holiday Tree? Well, who knows… perhaps it’s just a matter of time.
And as for time — for me, time feels suspended during a snow fall. I shelf whatever task I had planned to do in favor of simply finding a comfy spot by a window to watch the world turn white. Our first was to come tomorrow — but now forecasts have changed to a 20% chance of rain.
So tell me — was your snowfall lovely? Or does its regularity in your world make it more like an out-of-town guest over-staying its welcome?
We are a blessed people, aren’t we, to have so many ways of staying connected — to pick and choose what works best for us. As long as we keep the lines of communication open and flowing, life is good — for when words stop, hearts tend to grow hard or forgetful.