Thursday, December 25, 2008

christmas, 2008

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the Keys, all of Conch-dom were merrily trimming palm trees. The shopping and wrapping were now winding down and parking at meters was FREE all through town. . .

This Christmas marks the 40th anniversary of Apollo 8 orbiting the moon.
This picture, "Earthrise", was the first ever picture of our planet taken by a human (Bill Anders) from space.
It offers a sense of how insignificant, fragile and alone we are.

On Christmas Eve 1968, in the most watched television broadcast to that time, Apollo 8 crewmen Frank Borman, Bill Anders and Jim Lovell read verses 1 through 10 from Genesis.

(click the violet text link to give a listen)

Apollo 8 was a great scientific acheivement for all the wrong, politically motivated, reasons but after a year that saw the assassinations of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King, the Tet Offensive turning the tide of the Vietnam War against the United States, Apollo 8 was just the shot of inspiration everyone needed. You would think, after 40 years, WE THE SPECIES might have learned something?

Pouring over the stats for Key West the Blog the other night, I was happy to see the number of readers still growing and happier still to realize that readership was global. The statistics also tell how many visits the blog gets from specific countries and I was thrilled when I saw a very healthy following from our military in Iraq.

With that happy thought in my head, I wandered out, camera in hand, to cover something else when this scene screamed out to the corner of my eye.
I thought it was a perfect metaphor. . .
Whether or not I, or anyone, believes that our young heros in uniform are protecting the rest of us from global chaos or are unfortunate pawns in a political power play, the reality is that while we are here, they are there.

Imagine that behind that wonderfully decorated door, are all of us.
You, me and everyone we know, comfortably tucked away with our families and friends and caught up in the fussing and bustling of the season. The soldiers are outside the door, less comfortable, separated from those they love and exposed to "the elements".

Our gratitude for their service is sincere, our prayers for their safety are deep and meaningful but they've been out there a long time. Let's open the door and get them back inside with the rest of us.

Other than that, with this appropriately red & green still life, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas along with my extreme gratitude for your loyalty and support.

Many blessings - a

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