Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Changing Seasons

Pictures to follow, but first, Happy New Year!! Yes, I'm a day late, but I think I have a few more days before the year no longer qualifies as "new." I'm squeaking in the sentiment before the last of the Christmas fruitcake turns to brick on the kitchen counter, so I think I can get away with saying it a bit longer. My theory is, as long as the fruitcake is edible the holiday season hasn't really come to an end. (That's assuming that the fruitcake was ever edible to begin with. I happen to believe mine was, and it's merely the superfluity of sugary treats from the three parties we've thrown in the past week which has prevented said fruitcake from garnering the attention which would otherwise have assured its complete consumption.)

Anyway, it's 2008, and I hope that this year will be notably benign to us all, especially those of you who faced many hardships and difficulties in 2007. I can't say that 2007 was unkind to me. In fact, in many ways it was a model year for the Meow household, but still, I struggled to keep my usual good humor through much of it. Some changes take their toll far beyond their initial impacts, and one's perspective and attitude can never be the same again. The last few years have had some moments like that for me, and I am more wary of the world at large than I ever was before. That's probably a good thing. I have always been too naive, and my natural optimism sets me up for the occasional fall, and, really, the more I age and gain experience the more I recognize the need for an eternal perspective. This life simply can't be all we want it to be. There are too many flawed choices from too many flawed people (myself definitely included) all interacting at once for everything to flow along all smoothly and predictably. My hope is in the day when the flaws of mankind will be transformed through truly seeing Christ to perfect understanding, and thus the chaos we now create with our imperfect choices will be transformed as well, to harmony and peace. I know not everyone reading this will agree with me here, but that is my belief, and that is what keeps me from the dark side as I wander my way through this crazy and often difficult world (a belief supported, in my opinion, by history, science, philosophy, and reason, but on this topic, as on many others, reasonable people may agree to disagree.) I don't have much hope that 2008 will hold fewer challenges than other years; it may, in fact, hold many more, but I do have hope that I will continue to learn and grow through them all. I hope that for you as well.

Of course, this being a presidential year, I have almost no hope for that eternal harmony and peace I mentioned earlier to hang out much here in the real-time world. People will continue to peck and claw their ways toward whatever goals and desires fill their "to do" list, especially those whose list includes "become the leader of the free world," and some of us will watch in combined amusement and disgust as this spectacle plays out on the national stage. (I don't know if I'll be commenting at all on the show. I really meant it in October when I said I don't have anything more to say--although, as the fact I'm posting this little ramble proves, that doesn't mean I will never have anything to say. I may, indeed, get inspired to spout occasionally and add my voice to the giant muddle of thought that is our beloved blogosphere. Then again I may not. Who knows? Who really even cares, eh?) In any case, 2008 should, at the very least, be an interesting one for the political junkie, as well as the science junkie, things changing as rapidly as they are on the medical and scientific frontiers. There's something new to be learned every day on this topsy-turvy planet. May you have pleasant companionship with which to share the lessons this year brings.

Okay, all this random chatter came from a completely unrelated reason for posting. If you've been here before, you might have seen the pictures of Mount Hood and Mirror Lake that I posted last summer. I thought I'd give you a glimpse of them both in their winter splendor. Just to refresh your memory, I'll show you the summer view again, and then move on to the frozen version that Ked and I saw as we strapped on the snowshoes for a winter excursion on New Year's Day, okay?

Is that beautiful, or what?

What a difference a few months can make. It's still beautiful, but oh so different.

With at least five feet of snow on the ground, Ked and I weren't sure part of the time if we were walking on water, or bushes. The lake behind him had ripples of snow drifting across it as "the frosty wind made moan." (Bonus points to anyone but Su for knowing in which Christmas carol that frosty wind was so vocal.)

The lady with no face is me. Despite all visual evidence to the contrary, the tree behind me is quite a bit taller than it appears. Here it looks like the perfect flocked Christmas tree, but its summer stature is significantly more impressive.

Well, that's all for today. Feel free to check back at the end of the month for new Disney World photos. I may not be really writing the Meow anymore, but Disney World is always inspiring, so I'm sure there will be posts aplenty from Orlando. If we can, we'll be taking in Sea World and the Kennedy Space Center too, so the camera shutters should be flying. See you then!