Washington news

By Charlotte Henderson | Dec 27, 2012

The world is still here

Whew! It appears that we have survived another end-of-the-world. The Mayan calendar was erroneously interpreted by some people to signal the end of the world last week. The Mayan cultures themselves did not, however, see it as the end of anything but, rather, as the beginning of a new cycle of time. They had nothing to gain and had no part in the dire predictions, but the whole mythology of the event did spark a surge of interest in the Mayan empire. It exists mostly in the Yucatan Peninsula, Guatemala and the southeastern part of Mexico and was one of the highly developed civilizations of the western hemisphere before the Europeans came. There have been a number of predicted world-endings in my lifetime. It never seemed to be worrisome or dreadful – which seems odd, don’t you think? Anyway, here we are.

Christmas comes but once a year…

We hope your Christmas season, in whatever ways you observe it, is a good one. As usual, wrapping up one year and starting a new one with a clean slate brings us all sorts of visions of getting organized, getting more physically fit, de-cluttering my house, and numerous annual promises to myself that just don’t seem to pan out.

One thing that happens is noticing the seeds of some stories that never get written. For instance, we ran across this quotation during the election campaigns, “Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I’m persecuted whenever I’m contradicted.” Philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, who’s been dead for 130 years, said that way back when. Seems like it would have made sense for folks to have applied that notion whenever they were disputed during the campaigns.

Speaking of the campaigns, now that it’s all over it’s wonderful to forget how they went on forever. Remember George Miller, the late, great storekeeper and postmaster in Burkettville? I got my mail there for awhile (mind, that was a thousand years ago). Often the mail run was also a trip to the water spring, which George called “the Everlastin’ Spring.” His pronunciation of the word ‘everlastin’ was unique and we adopted it for many purposes, including the recent campaigns. And people cheering on the shopping frenzy. Mmmm, that’s over, too. Double whew!

An old favorite, revisited

Some things you clip and save. This essay by Patricia Curtis has been in my box of treasures for at least 30 years. “Ten Reasons Why I Believe In Christmas: I believe in Christmas because when human beings do something cruel or mean to other human beings, there’s always somebody who protests. Because babies are born. Because when a sea creature, dumb and almost insentient, forms a shell around itself, it makes mathematically perfect whorls and exquisite colors and the most gloriously complex patterns. Because when things are tough, there’s always somebody who can make you laugh anyway. Because most of us feel guilty when we lie or cheat or steal. Because you can plant a sunflower seed in the ground and be sure that if anything comes up, and it probably will, it will most certainly be a sunflower and won’t double-cross you and come up a petunia instead. Because of the way snow enshrouds the harshest city with marvelous soft white contours and mutes the city noises softly. Because if you open yourself to it, you can commune with animals and even with plants and other forms of life we share this planet with. Because pain eventually goes away. And, because even if some people believe it is a legend and not a precisely true event, I think the story of that baby in the manger, the angels, the shepherds and what it all meant to the world is still the most beautiful story I ever heard.”

See you next year!

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