Saturday, December 26, 2009

Be careful what you dream of

As I survey the scene outside my window this morning, with strains of White Christmas running through my head, I want to throw something at Bing Crosby.

A snowball, maybe. With a rock in it.

OK, I'm not that vindictive, and poor old Bing is long gone and not responsible for the landscape of gray (in the sky) and white (everything else) that spreads before me. And I'm sure his - and songwriter Irving Berlin's - intentions were fine. But this season's very white Christmas in my city is a reminder to idealists such as myself that sometimes when things that seem lovely in theory become real, the devil really is in the details.

"... where the treetops glisten..." lovely when it happens, but requires sunlight, which this morning is masked by a cover of thick gray clouds. No glistening in these parts today.

"... and children listen to hear sleigh bells in the snow..." no neighbor kids out and about - too cold, and the snow piles are taller than many of them. And if there were sleigh bells to be heard their sound would be overwhelmed by shovels, snow blowers and the spinning of car wheels attempting to escape curbside drifts.

"with every Christmas card I write..." unless you run out of stamps and don't feel sufficiently confident in your driving skills to go out for more in the freezing drizzle that preceded the snow.

"may your days be merry and bright..." okay, it's back to the theoretical, but I'll go with that one.

"and may all your Christmases be white...." NOOOOO!

Not that there aren't some positive outcomes of this holiday snow-blast. I don't actually have to be anywhere in particular for the next few days. I did get to enjoy some time with my kids and their sweeties. The gym is closed (a detail over which I spill no tears today, although may come to regret after a weekend of holiday consumption) and my husband, more intrepid in driving through this stuff than I, fetched my daily latte for me.

Plus, I can afford the latte, as well as the gas to power the furnace that keeps me warm inside a house with a mortgage payment I also can afford, which makes me more fortunate than many - in fact, makes my life what many others still dream of.

But still, it's not what I was dreaming of last time I sang along with Bing.

How any of this might be applied to larger issues of the day -- health care reform, climate change action, war surges, what to do about the whole lot of screaming blowhards on both sides of the aisle in Congress and all over cable tv -- I will leave to others who know far more than I about the actual details of worthy ambitions with many thorny complications.

I just know that after experiencing the reality of an actual white Christmas and the details that came with it, I'll take a pass on this particular dream in the future.


Kim and Patrick Bentrott said...

oh but to a girl coming home from tropical heat that rarely leaves the 90's, no air-conditioning to speak arrive to the the chill, the powder puff, the slickity-doo-dah magic of it all was a white christmas dream come true.

Its all about perspective, I guess.

Come sweat with me in Haiti when you are tired of the ice. You can remind me of the joy of nature-made heat that I'm soooooo over. :)

LO said...

Kim, you're right, I'll take cold over relentless heat and humidity any day (my birthplace is Buffalo, after all). And the sunlight today makes an INCREDIBLE difference in my mood, despite the ice and snow drifts.

But you've caused me to consider a downside to being more present in the moment and less focused on the long view: attention to current irritants can result in grumpiness. The point I should remember about my little project is that I'm attempting to live in and APPRECIATE the moment, not complain about it.

And, taking Otis out for a walk this morning just as dawn was breaking, I had to admit the scene was very pretty. AND, thanks to removable cleats on my boots, I didn't fall on the ice, either. Altogether a much more successful day.