Monday, December 24, 2012

~Merry Christmas 2012~

Well, we did it.

Survived the End of the World, just barely- I don't know about you guys, but mine involved a game of sardines in a not-all-weather-mini-van, traversing the treacherous passes of the Canadian Rockies, being blinded by slush splatters of passing Semi-trucks, and dealing with a belligerent border guard who thoroughly examined every orange peel in our car. It was pretty tense, at times, but hey, we made it.

Now on Christmas Eve, I have to take a look back and say how thankful I am to spend it with my family in my home state. And it's forecast to be a White Christmas for one day only, what are the odds? 

On this day, I'm remembering, of course, one of my most memorable Christmases, when I was alone in my apartment in Guri, South Korea, the snow most certainly not falling for just one day. Veins of ice peeked from beneath the banks of snow caking the sidewalks, and the cold had tunneled into my bones. I'd come back to find my pipes frozen. When they broke, I remember turning around that dark hole, realizing where I was, a place far from home, a place draped in shadows and the ghost of my own breath, with not a spark of life to be found. 

I got a similar feeling, too, this trip to the Canadian Rockies- we were having a fantastic time skiing. But every once and a while, I'd look around at those trees glittering with blue ice, the emptiness of the forest, and the coldness of the snow (which I experimented firsthand whenever I took a headlong tumble into feather-soft powder) and realize that if the electricity were to go off for just a few days, or if this ski lodge were to lose heat, then we'd reawaken to the reality of winter. How silent it is.

Of course, my friends back in Hawai'i are laughing during this entire thing. I will say that when I was at the mercy of winter back in Guri, a maintenance man came up on that day to help me fix the pipes, and my co-teacher offered me a warm home to say in. This Christmas, when our refrigerator's compressor took a turn for the worse, a repairs man made his way out to help us the best he could. So to all of those of you who make the long trek out in the cold to do your jobs, to be there when emergency strikes, we can never be grateful enough. To those of you who are far from your families this Christmas, serving your country, trapped in frenzied airports, or just spending it in a new place- God Bless You, and know that everyone is sending warm thoughts your way to keep out the cold.

Merry Christmas! ~Heather

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