Summits, as I’ve implied before, are hard to find here in Florida.
But starting in October, the holiday season stretches on and up like the long trudge up parts of Kilimanjaro. And, of course, trying to fit work and training in between both hosting and attending the social functions of the season can create a stress level no less intense than the oxygen deficits you feel at over 14,000 feet.
Here in the U.S., at least, it starts with Halloween. Even though the daughters are no longer among the bands of ghosts and goblins marching through our neighborhood in search of treats, for over 20 years now we have shared the evening with the parents of two other children of identical age (and I do mean identical because we met in Lamaze class).
A short three of four weeks after that is the annual trek to California for Thanksgiving – see earlier post about Point Lobos – and trying to cram as much time as we can with family and friends into a barely four day visit. Let’s see, that works out to how many minutes a person?
The return from California starts the cycle of my work party, the husband’s work party, the book club party, the women’s group party, various and sundry parties, and then one I host to prove that I too can do something other than practice law and climb mountains. This one was particularly challenging since it came on the heels of an unexpectedly extended out of town business trip. Always make sure the day 1 jacket will match the day 2 skirt to create something that looks vaguely different for day 3.
I suppose everyone feels the holidays should culminate in a summit at Christmas or New Year’s – as immense and amazing as that incredible spot at the top of Mt. Elbrus – or perhaps, to use a more accessible image, the fantastic ice castle at the top of the mountain in Disney’s Frozen. But maybe it is really the gentle valleys hiding somewhere amid all the revelry that give the holidays some meaning – the few quiet moments where you can sit for a few minutes, meditate, and watch the sun reflect on the summits that surround you, whether real or metaphorical. Happy holidays, everyone.