As most of you know, we headed north of the border in early December to spend time with family and friends during the holiday season. The first leg of our journey began in Phoenix, where we had stored our vehicle and personal belongings. When we opened our storage unit and began to pare it down even further, we were struck by what minimalists we have become, which made me reflect on what is important to us and what we all (if we are honest with ourselves) at times lose sight of, with the hectic event that has become our daily lives.
We spent the first two days in Phoenix with our good friends Carl and Marcia, whose kindness and generosity of spirit are so uplifting and my hope is that each of you have someone in your life who gives so freely of themselves as they do.
From Phoenix we headed to Sedona for several days, to spend time with our friends Rosie and Jim, as well as Barb and Pete.
Rosie and Jim, as always, were generous with their time and opened their home to us. Jim went out of his way to keep us fed, cooking for us and others daily. Thank goodness we hiked most days to counterbalance the additional calories we consumed. I don’t know what made my stomach hurt more; too much of Jim’s good cooking or his wacky sense of humor, which kept us laughing.
Last, but certainly not least, are Barb and Pete, two special friends that we always look forward to spending time with in Sedona. Most of you have already heard me speak of Barb. Barb is my anam cara, my soul friend, who has been ill for many years. She and her husband Pete have such courage and strength in the face of adversity. I pray that I could conduct myself with the same grace that they do everyday if I were faced with the same challenges.
We are fortunate to have friends spread across the country, as well as friendships developed in Mexico. Kevin and Erin are two we met in Mexico, friends and mentors, who so generously give of their time and their knowledge and made our transition to Lakeside so easy, and we feel blessed to have them in our lives.
It would be lovely to spend the holidays with all our friends but obviously, this is unrealistic, so here is to all our friends fondly remembered at this time. May we all step away from the stress of the commercialism of the holiday season and take a few moments to practice loving kindness for family (those close to us and those estranged), friends, and all those known to us and unknown who are suffering at this time.
This year we are fortunate to be spending the holidays with family, unlike years of the past. May this season find you embracing family and friends and may 2011 bless each of us with a sense of peace as we navigate through the waters of our lives.