December 13, 2009

Frosty Sunday Morning

I had a date with my grandchildren, Julian and Esther, for a Skype visit this frosty morning. It's dinner time in Zurich and they are already in their pajamas, bathed and relaxed for a quiet evening before the school week starts tomorrow. Earlier last week, my daughter Ellen and the children cleaned out their bedrooms to let go of toys and books they no longer relate to. I can see by their poise as we sit and talk face to face via this amazing, Star Trekian magic, how quickly they are growing and growing up, how well parented they are, how blessed in their living.

One of the wishes of today's skype chat was to read to them a poem Ellen sent to me for Christmas in Japan in 1990. It's a take off on The Night Before Christmas, but in it, we discover that Buddha and Santa are actually one and the same. The (fat) Buddha and Santa are about the same size and have never been seen together in the same room, so they are obviously the same person. Eventually, Santa/Buddha winks and admits this truth. It's a charming poem, completely made up as Ellen went along, hand written on beautiful cotton torn paper. A treasure to read to the grandchildren each year.

So the frost is still with us after a week of extreme cold, and now the sky is heavy enough that snow could begin any moment. The lake is frozen solid, a few birds are out and about, prayer flags toss in the wind. Inside is the luxury of warmth, the amazement of technology to see and speak to family in Switzerland. So grateful to have a shelter. There are many downtown as I write who are having to leave some of the shelters because they are only for night sleeping. The library is closed on Sundays, the mainstay of the homeless, as are many of the shops and restaurants. I wonder, when you have nothing, no place warm to set your things down, where do you go on a morning like this?