Sugar Plum Visions
Many are expecting snow to start falling sometime late Christmas Eve, early Christmas morning. This area last saw a white Christmas in 1961. The meteorologist indicates that two very different models are being watched. One shows the storm system tracking more northward and inland, granting a snowball's chance in hell of even a light dusting. The other model is in that vision with sugar plums, and all the kids are dreaming. Again, this area last saw a white Christmas in 1961. The combination of "meteorologist" and dreams as strong as new love tends to box up history like a textbook. Certain history, that is. Other historical data stands steadfastly, and one can bet the farm with no risk that by mid-afternoon tomorrow, the supermarkets will be out of milk and bread. One more time: this area last saw a white Christmas in 1961.
Naturally, the model dumping snow in these parts is the model the majority is expecting to prove accurate. The conspiracy theorist may find collusion clearly exists between the supermarkets, milk farmers, bakeries, and the various meteorological societies and associations. The more productive member of society operates beyond this entire matter, understanding that the masses possess a mob mentality even more so these days and that the weather - well, weather will happen, just be reasonably prepared. The overly analytical one believes this little tale of forecasting a white Christmas is further evidence that the masses prefer dreams over reality. Put more clearly, the masses are perfectly willing to make decisions based upon and indeed live in a dream-altered reality. This phenomenon is reflected in the divorce rate, the debt ratios, the amount of time parents devote to self-entertainment compared to time spent with their children, the amount of money spent on sporting events versus the amount of money spent on educational pursuits, the amount of media coverage Lohan and such receive compared to the lady who beat all odds to put her three kids through college on a cashier's income... We live in a sugar plum society.
Lest this seems all bah humbug and spilled milk, understand that this time of year is perfect for sugar plums. Spreading joy, observing the magnificent amazement and wonder on children's faces, pausing the ever-spinning life merry-go-round and disembarking to see the sights, give a hug, dream a little, share the love - this is Christmas. With great hope and love, the world was changed. With great hope and love, the world can change again.
Positive change is sorely needed, but sugar plum visions impede progress. Fear of life impedes life itself. Consider that the masses willingness to dream awake signifies, to some degree, a fear of life - a resignation that real life is too much work or beyond repair or disgusting or pointless or just plain scary. These sentiments are understandable. Soldiers are dying. Jobs are fleeing. Gas prices are soaring. Crime is consistent, like death and taxes. Love is lost. Marriages end. Friends lie. Relationships have gone virtual. Human touch is rarely shared. The world is scary at times.
This Christmas season, two roads diverge in every wood. One cannot travel both. However, one can take the hand of one nearby and pledge to help on the journey, to go meet the teacher, deliver a meal, shovel a neighbor’s walk, stop and fix a flat, have a meaningful conversation with children, love selflessly, give without hope of receiving. Life requires work. Work requires alertness and willingness to focus on the task at hand. Dreams exist for good reason, but dreams should not be confused with goals. Identify your desired life destination for 2011 and beyond. Roll up your sleeves, take a hand of one close by, and choose the road that takes you there. Put forecasts in your pocket with a compass. Grant expectations the foundation of effort. Have fun in the snow, rejoice in the rain, bundle up in the cold, be thankful in all things, love truly and deeply and without fear. Who eats sugar plums, anyway?