Wednesday, November 26, 2008

On the next day of Christmas

While we're on the subject; in today's newspaper there was an article about what it was going to cost Trinis to "enjoy" their traditional Christmas feasts. It was instructive to say the least. When we were growing up, Christmas lunch was a special meal, something different from what we had every day. That was it. When we took to sharing Christmas lunch with the neighbours, it was a little more lavish, they actually used to do a turkey AND a ham, but there were quite a few people to feed and the leftovers were shared. However, there was nothing that we HAD TO HAVE.

And that's the thing. Why do we have to have anything? One of the best Christmas meals I ever had was a bake and shark on Maracas Beach, shared with Zeus. It was one of those days that could have gone all wrong, but somehow, it worked out all right. I'd woken up at the crack of dawn, to cut a long story short, I ended up on my own and decided that I wanted to be near water. The dog was thrown into the car and we headed off to the beach.

It was a crisp day, the sun barely warming up the air after a chilly night. The sky was clear, so blue that it seemed to go on forever. Parking the car in the almost deserted lot, hauling out dog and baggage while inhaling lungfuls of salt air. Heavenly. We plunked down on the un-raked sand. Zeus digging his usual hole to China, settling in on the edge of my blanket, sand everywhere, stuck to his fur, my hair, under my toes. The beach was mostly an empty expanse, a few corbeaus strutting around, ownership guaranteed. Zeus taking exception. The few other people, yes even at 7:30 am on Christmas morning there were a few diehards on the beach, scattered randomly, a nod, a smile and the odd Merry Christmas. The only real sound, the splish splash of waves on the shore. As I lay there soaking up the sun, sparing a moment to call my brother and best friend to wish them a happy day, it was truly peaceful. Sometime later an Indian family showed up for what seemed to be their carefully planned Christmas lime. They weren't loud but they were happy, sharing food and drink while the rest of us stood in line at the shark and bake people. The sharp smell of frying fish, the hot of the stove bake wrapped in greasy paper, slathered in garlic and shandon beni sauce. Sitting on the mat, propped up on dog, he with his own comestible, after all, it was Christmas, I felt very lucky.

It's easy to get bogged down in what you don't have but truthfully, we have so much. I'm not going to lecture anyone here. You get to choose what is important to you, but ask yourself if it's worth being miserable over. Is not having a bunch of things going to make your life worse or are you going to chose to be happy.


Gabriela said...

I guess I choose to be happy. At least, I'll do my best.

Marcus the Coffedude said...

sweet Coffee...sweet. I can smell the bake and shark and the salt air now!

Marcus the Coffedude said...

pity those who have never tasted a fresh Maracas bark and shake...I mean shark and bake! Nirvana!

Marcus the Coffedude said...

'comestible' ay....I am impressed. Going up as my word of the week on my whiteboard.