This morning--faculty meeting. Let me do the math. I've been here 38 years (I think); there are two every year, sometimes more, but not lately since we're so much more business-like than we were in days of old. Let's say in odd years, we may have three, in very strange years four or more. 38 x 2 = 76 + 19 extras = 95. I'm not a bean-counter--let's just round it off at 100. This morning's faculty meeting may well be my 100th.
There ought to be a celebration maybe. Maybe an extra donut at coffee time.
The story, this morning, is a new school year a'startin'.
But there's another story--our son and his fiance (I can't quite say "our children" yet, but not long) are going back home, south to Oklahoma. Literally, they didn't make it home for the holidays, arriving January 2nd. But figurative and symbolically, they did. They were home because of the holidays, even though we had our opening-presents ritual the day after New Years.
I honestly don't know if anyone knows exactly when Jesus Christ was born in that barn out behind the Bethlehem hotel. I don't know, but I think it's just plain wonderful that out here on all this frozen tundra that wonderful-est of holidays is celebrated just after winter solstace, in the coldest season of the coldest season, when what's outside is, at best, sometimes pretty. December cold means we're all shut-ins here. Somebody was out at Oak Grove with snowshoes last week--I saw the prints. But otherwise, it's so blame cold here that even snowmobiles are risky. In Siouxland right now, there ain't no picnics. Twenty-below may keep out the riff-raff, but it also keeps the righteous off the streets.
So I'm glad there's a Christmas, a time for people to come home and sit around and eat too much and catch up. I'm happy Christmas doesn't come in June, when the whole world sings anyway. Mid-blasted winter!--what a great time for Christmas, for a break, for a holiday, for renewal. Wonderful, blessed timing.
But today, it's really over. Today, for the 100th time, for me at least, it's back to work.
This morning's thanks, in so many ways, are simply for Christmas. What a joy it really is, now and forever.