The winter holidays found me in the Arizona desert this year savoring a chili pepper chipolte flavor for Christmas and New Year's. Holiday yard decorations were a hit with the hummingbirds offering this adult a step back into the spirit of wonder more commonly associated with children and the holidays.
My mother had put a large Agave stalk in a pot in the front yard of their house and wrapped red and gold ribbon around the stalk and hung shiny red and gold ball ornaments on the branches. There were some blossoms on the branch as well and it sat right outside the view from the windows by their kitchen table.
To my total delight, hummingbirds were quite entranced with the shiny bright red colours on the Agave and kept coming all day long to drink from the blossoms. I guess hummingbirds like the colour red and this holiday yard decoration turned into a hummingbird feeder. I could hardly drag myself away what with trying to catch good photos of the hummingbird and other birds in the yard.
We went to a recreation of the American West - a street that was supposed to be like the times of the cowboys in the American West in the 1880's. It was called "Rawhide" and as I looked at the covered wagons and such I wondered if the U.S. is one of the only places with this flavor of history. Maybe also some places in South America and Australia/New Zealand? I mention the latter as I remember reading Shardul's (a student of Sri Chinmoy living in New Zealand) tales of herding cattle in the Australian Outback.
I actually have relatives who left behind written accounts of their own travels by covered wagon as they migrated across the country back at that time. This pioneer spirit is something I "brand" as a very formative aspect of what the American character comprises.
But the New Year is a time to look forward and I'm here writing about America's past. When I think of the poems and essays by Sri Chinmoy that I have read, one theme which appears again and again is the power of newness and fresh beginnings. I'm glad it is a new year and hope to learn soon Sri Chinmoy's New Year's Message for 2007. Since every day even begins anew, I close with a quote from the book My Morning Begins by Sri Chinmoy:
My morning begins And I closely listen To the singing heartbeat Of my life. -Sri Chinmoy