It's hard to imagine that another year has come and gone! To me it seems only yesterday that the "idiot fringe" among us was worried that the world was going to come apart at the seams as the Year 2000 arrived.
Now, it seems, 5 minutes have passed and the Year 2013 is upon us. Impossible! I remember, as a kid, when a summer day was longer than a week is now. The wait for Christmas was several of today's years.
But there is no use bemoaning the ever quickening pace of time. It's not going to slow down. It really is true that time waits for no man. Instead, I have come to the realization that the best thing to do is to live life fully and enjoy every day before it quickly passes away.
I was out Christmas shopping for my wife this week. As I headed home, driving west, I looked into the western sky and was amazed at what I saw. It was one of those rare cold days that we get here in the Houston area. The temperature was made to feel even colder by a wind that had been blowing hard all day. Looking at the sky, I saw that the winds aloft were also violent. The high Cirrus clouds were being ripped and whipped into thin shreds of icy moisture. Each shred was basically shaped like a ragged Shepherd's Hook, the hook end flowing northward in the sky and the staff whipped around 180 degrees to flow south. This configuration of Cirrus clouds is not unusual, but what made these clouds so unusual was that the several Shepherd's Hooks were transected perpendicularly by what appeared to be almost solid narrow bands of clouds which didn't seem to be wind whipped at all. I had never seen anything like it. As I drove home, I marveled at the beauty of it all as the sinking sun's rays cast red and gold beams of light up into the cloud's causing them to shimmer brilliantly. It was as if it were all a gift for me at the end of the day.
We often tell each other to be sure to, "stop and smell the roses." There is a lot of wisdom in that old saying. But roses are not the only thing we should stop to enjoy. Clouds, a summer breeze, a blue butterfly flittering among the garden flowers, children rolling down a grassy hill, a redbird drinking from a backyard fountain, a grandchild playing her violin in a concert, sitting and talking with a neighbor who is nearing the century mark of his life, are all things I have stopped to enjoy in the last few months. My spirit is the better for it.
I've been blessed to see many of the grandest and hallowed sights on earth including several of the United Nations World Heritage Sites, the most significant places on the earth - the Cliffs of Moher, in Ireland, the Torii Gate of Miyaji in Japan, the Grand Canyon, Alaska's Mount McKinley, the ancient temples of Rome, the 13th century Golden Pavilion in Kyoto, the Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, the Lake District of England, the Canadian Rockies, and Stonehenge. I've roamed through the ancient Temples of the Myans. Fortunately, one need not travel to distant places to find the wonders of the world. The worlds beauty is all around us. All we have to do is take the time to appreciate the beauty and the peacefulness of nature that surrounds us.
Christmas is the Season of Peace and Good Will To Men. One has two choices. He can deny that there is any peace to be had on earth and certainly no good will. I can see why someone would choose that option. We live in a time when even Americans are more divided than they ever have been. Our Representatives in Washington are so polarized on political views that they can't even act together in the best interests of the country and its citizens. However, we can also choose to carry the season in our hearts all year long by stopping to appreciate the world around us and the people and creatures that inhabit it. It has been said, "life is a journey, not a destination." I can honestly say, I've enjoyed the journey. My dearest dream is that all of you will come to enjoy the journey as well. We cannot change what we encounter in life. We can choose how we react to it.
As married bisexual men, the journey is often not easy. More often than not we can not tie our lives up in neat little packages as do ordinary men. But being bisexual does not mean that just because our lives are not easy, they cannot be throughly rewarding. Many of us have built lives and relationships which prove that; and if many of us can do that, then all of us can.
Here's wishing you and yours the most joyful of Christmases and the most rewarding of New Years. May you vow to embrace life and all it has to offer. May you see each new challenge as an opportunity, and may you always stop to appreciate and enjoy the world around you.