Happiest of Holidays to You and Yours!
"Over the river and through the woods" was more than a line from a holiday song to me growing up. For my family it was part of the Christmas ritual as we drove up to my Grandparent's farm in Northern Wisconsin. Frequently we were driving in heavy snow and there were many trees to see and rivers to cross before we crunched up the gravel drive and were welcomed by the lights of the farmhouse kitchen.
Even before the car stopped the dogs would be barking their "Hellos" and I would dash out of the car to rub their wagging tails and receive their sloppy kisses. If there was any light left in the day I'd run to the barn to visit the cows in their stalls munching away on their hay and corn. I loved the barn with it's earthy smells and steaming pails of milk! I would stay in there for hours, talking to the cows, scratching their itches and rubbing behind their filed down horns. If I got too close to their nose though, I'd end up with a long strip of gooey green hay slime on my sleeve (or worse, my face!) when the curious bovine licked me with her long tongue.
Those days on the farm and hours in the barn with the cows, dogs, cats, sheep and chickens were some of my happiest childhood days. It was also where my healing skills were first nurtured and my desire to help any and all creatures in pain gained strength. It wasn't all play and petting the pretty (pretty dirty!) cows though. Visiting the farm meant helping with the milking and the feeding and the barn cleaning (the endless barn cleaning!!) and whatever else Grandma and Grandpa needed help with. It made for a strong body and great sleep at the end of day. Long walks in the woods, through the fields and along the river taught me a love for nature that remains with me today.
It's a Southern California Christmas for me this year, but no matter whether you're sledding in the snow or surfing in the sea this Holiday season, may you be blessed by the warmth and love of dear ones, keeping them in your hearts joyfully and with good cheer!
Big Holiday Hugs,
P.S. Share a favorite Holiday memory in the comments section below :D