So, there’s this “Elf” thing going around this Christmas. Parents get this small stuffed elf who sits on a shelf. So, the elf has a name and the kids are told he is Santa’s helper and he’s watching you. Don’t touch him. Now, each day the elf is in a different place in the house…always watching the kids.
Okay. So, now my oldest son tells his mom that he thinks it would be a good idea to get an elf…for “the kid.” “But, we don’t have any kid at home,” I tell her. “Maybe you don’t,” she responds.
“Maybe, you don’t?” What is that? What’s she saying…? Naw, she wouldn’t be…me, a kid…naw, that’s not it…no way! She wouldn’t…or would she?
A poet writes of the grandeur of snow-capped mountains or the tranquility of the seashore and paints a portrait with words of places I have yet to see. An author describes the sounds of a spring evening in rural America or the unhurried movement of a babbling brook and I reflect on the possibility of a slower pace in my life.
I have had the pleasure of waking up to the mist of a pine-covered forest, with crispness in the air that seemed to be the breath of life itself. The canvas of the day was in process; the colors of nature were creating peaceful images in my mind. I have lived in the country, the forest, the city and I have sailed the seas of the world. Each canvas has presented its own unique perspective of nature.
As a boy, I would lie on my back, on the soft green grass of a lazy summer’s day and watch billowy white cotton clouds float across an endless blue sky. The clouds would change shapes in their travels: from a dog to an old man with a beard then to a lion and always some sheep. Images that were as endless as my boyish imagination, capturing my attention for what seemed like hours. How perfect was this moment in time, pictures displayed on the canvas of my mind and someday viewed through the memories of an old man who would still recall a boy’s carefree summer days.
In the spring and fall, flocks of migrating geese mesmerize me with their instinctive movements and formations, following a map painted within them by the Master. Snowflakes cascading gently to the earth with their unique and intricate lace-like patterns reflect the simple complexity of nature. In the middle of the night, when I turn my eyes toward heaven, I behold the vastness of space sprinkled with a sea of diamonds. The sound of a mountain brook or a Mozart composition, a Hemingway novel or good dialect among friends; each a creation on the canvas of my mind.