It appears to be a rendering of the COVID virus, but it’s not. It’s a defunct 6” lighted ball, one of many that we usually hang from our front yard trees during the holiday season. After this light stopped working last year, I cut off the hanger and electrical plug and placed it next to a lemon cypress tree we have in a tall red planter. Anyone who’s toured our yard would not find this particularly unusual. There are broken pots and rusty metal pieces tucked between perennials, and cracked champagne glasses sticking up out of pots. Things that are broken or don’t work anymore often find a home in our outdoor landscape, so it was only in mid-Summer that I realized I’d inadvertently adopted yard art that was a perfect representation of the thing that made 2020 the Year of Cancellations.
This Christmas/COVID image is also a reminder of how closely aligned the Sacred and the Profane can be, how something cheerful and holiday-related can end up looking like something fearful, how one day can be fabulous, and the next can go to hell in a handbasket. Glass half-empty, or half-full? It’s all how you look at it. I sometimes lean into a somber, Teutonic view of the world, while Fred is always upbeat and chipper, no matter what’s happening. Thank God I have his sunny teeter to my overcast totter, and thank God he has me to … well … hmmm. I’ll have to get back to you on that.
Last year in our Christmas card, we wished our friends and family peace. Given 2020, we’re clearly powerless when it comes to predicting the future, but this year, we wish you the same anyhow. Try to relax on this peculiar journey during these trying times. There have been worse years than 2020, though admittedly not in recent memory. But this, too, shall pass.
December 16, 2020