On this Christmas Eve.


frosty branches under bridge


On this Christmas Eve.


gunnar up high



I wake this morning feeling out of sorts. It’s my first Christmas without Forrest. What’s the point of Christmas cookies without him here to eat them? (Bob would rather have pies.) My son never got a house of flashing lights, Santa, singing and Rudolf, but baking, and lots of it, I did for him.

We do our best to raise independence. Give them all we can, everything we can.

Put him down, they said,
Come on, get out, come with us, leave him, get a babysitter… he’ll be fine.
No, I said. Because I wanted to be there for him.

This is what matters most, I said. And it did.  So now, what does?

The theory was to help build a solid foundation.
Upon which he would build his rocket and take off.

He’s taken off.  How far away can you get?  I think the South Pole is good.

Of course I am proud. And couldn’t be more pleased.
This is what we’ve been working for, what we really wanted, but still it hurts, you know?  Not pain, so much as a void you don’t know how to fix and fill.

No, not sad, he reminds me (he, the wise one, of course…). Bittersweet, he’ll let me have. But not sad. “We’ve both got so much going on…” and yes, of course, he’s right. Good stuff. It’s not the time to be sad.





Well, heck, then, I say, it’s a day to get high. I’m heading to the high country. Nothing cures my blues like extreme white. Me on my snowshoes, my dog in my track. Breath deep of thin air. This is what heals me. Solitude, silence, wind, hard and harsh elements. The power of powder, intoxication of the elevation. Solace of the season.


rio grande pyramid



pyramid coming home



No presents this Christmas for Bob and me. We have all we need. Instead, we’re gifting to charities. It gives us as the giver just as much pleasure, and maybe the receiver even more.

Glad to have Justin here to share the celebration, the logging, the lamb, the snowmobiles, the high country.  (He might tell you otherwise after riding with Bob today.)


from lost lakes overlook



bristol burn and beetle kill



The tiredness of the darkest days, lullaby of deep winter,  forced dormancy, how incomplete I would be without this tranquil time and muted days. Forever summer is not for me. I didn’t know how much I would miss winter until I left it. Like a lover. Left with  a cold side to the bed.

And thanks to Bob, even on the coldest nights we spoon and wrap about each other and I no longer know where my limbs end and his begin and I think somewhere deep inside they really have become connected.

The enjoyment of the long, dark evenings, so much time together inside, finally catching up on reading, baking, writing to friends… thinking.  Do you remember when?

Time for bed. For sweet dreams. For they shall be.
And to you all, my friends, I wish happy holidays. May they be dear, sweet and holy to you, whatever your practice, faith, believe or choice.


aspen leaf


rose hip in snow



12 thoughts on “On this Christmas Eve.

  1. Merry Christmas! We happen to be at my Mom’s in Pagosa Springs which is just directly over the mountain from you, as the crow flies. I can relate to several aspects of your writing tonight, but I choose to dwell on only the sweet aspects on this merry night.

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Love this Gin, My mind shoots back to when I first met you and forrest. He was waist high and you beautiful, strong nature loving Mamma. You and Bob what a perfect match, what a gift to have such a perfect partner, as our children grow and leave as they must do. I say bake! Pies, cookies you name it toast to forrest and all your beautiful years and happy tears!
    Happy Holidays, you’ve done great my friends, Love, Kim and Mike

    • Sending love to you, Kim, and Mike, and how we’d love to see you both more! And thanks to you, Kim, Forrest and I have Bob. I shall forever be thankful. Forrest too, you know! Come on up with Mike and I”ll bake for you guys! Blessings for a beautiful new year to you both, filled with that which matters most.

  3. Merry Christmas, Gin! In this time of separation, one path is be wise and to become a mother to more than Forrest, and you are doing both well. It has been a pleasure and an inspiration to walk with you this year. I’m looking forward to your stories of the new flowers coming under those trees. Blessings, Harold

  4. Yes, I like what Harold said…it may be a chance to remember the opportunity to be Wise Mother Love Woman to all and sundry. How’s that for a handle?

    Your post bring my mother’s comment to mind: “I raised each of you to stand on your own two feet. Damned if you didn’t do just that!”

    How I’d love to don a pair of snowshoes and break trail with you – Restorative Reflection. The story Nature presents in those healing times.

    If gap prevails, Send Cookies Canada Post.

    • Amy, I think deeply, and laugh heartily, thanks to you… You are beautiful and I am thankful to have you in our lives, if from a far… sort of… for now.

      But for those cookies… when I used to try to send them Forrest at Quest, they took too long and arrived stale. Maybe you’ll just have to come down here…

  5. When I am no longer a steward for a puss cat that needs meds 2 x day, I want to take off for certain parts. At times when I see your photos, it just looks like I have to ally oop right there. It would be a total delight to visit. No, truly I was kidding about the cookies. Friends here have given me too many for my disciplined bod!

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