If Dogs Run Free at Christmas
Christmas is almost upon us and my three year old is beside herself with excitement that Santa will be coming to town anytime now. It’s a funny thing living in Southern California at this time of the year. I remember our first Christmas here before our hearts had fully comprehended what our heads had already understood; that we’d put the East Coast and Europe down, at least for a while . The incongruity of the sunshine warmth and the enthusiastically decorated dwelling places coupled with the spirit of Christmas that shone from every shop window made me want to laugh and cry in equal measure. Longing for the white cold of a New York winter season and all the excitement and well, just plain rightness, that such things entail, I found it very difficult to settle.
This will be our sixth Christmas at the edge of the world and while things are a little different now they are also strangely the same. I sat at my daughter’s Christmas recital this week and giggled inwardly as the preschoolers merrily sang about sleigh bells in the snow while the sun shone in the seventy degree afternoon sky outside. And yet, we will drive that very same daughter to her first experience of the snow in a few days time. A blizzard is due to hit Big Bear on Christmas Day; a mere two hours drive away-such is the magic of California.
We will be on the beach with our dog in the morning; Christmas Eve in fact. It’s one of my happiest spots to walk and be for a while. I’ve written before about my friendship with the ocean and I just adore watching our dog play in the waves. It is the one place he can go for ever without stopping and I think he can taste absolute freedom. So I think to myself that if he runs free as the hours tick down until it’s the night before Christmas all feels very right and very bright in this sunshine town where snowmen are made of sand.