Build a Fire

With it being Sunday morning, the first duty of my day, was to make haste in getting to the quiet little darkened corner in my office so I could get my contemplative session started. I can attest it has grown to be a welcome time where I can reflect and pray. Just recently I’ve added another to my prayers because of the extended pain that person’s been having to endure, so I figured it was time for me to help lighten a burden. Irregardless what anyone thinks, a self-less praying for others does make a difference, and should it be of even the slightest benefit, it’s worth the effort. During today’s session, I focused on my deep gratitude for the good things that have happened, and especially thankful I was more productive this past week considering we’ve entered our cyclical “slow time” in North Iowa’s real estate market.

After finishing up, I decided to place a call to a dear friend of mine for a long-overdue soulful chat. We talked about how some think that if they attend a church service on Sunday, they have the license to do anything they see fit the other six days of our week which has become more noticeable for me in these times. We also talked about some who go quickly running to mental health counselors for guidance before they make even one attempt at figuring out for themselves what’s really going on in their brains. Just as our bodies, we subconsciously know what’s going on in our minds better than anyone else. I’m of the opinion that when people have given up on figuring out what’s going on with their mental health, then that’s when professionals should be pulled into the picture. I’m not trying to place another plug for contemplative prayer when saying those quiet introspective minutes, also help with understanding oneself. Make sense?

Another subject we landed on, was how sentimentality can hinder a person’s mental health to where we hold too fast to ideas regarding people, places and things which cause use to focus more on our pasts than our futures. It’s good to have sentiments, but when they no longer suit a positive purpose in our lives, then it’s time to start setting them aside and allowing more real-time experiences to brighten our days. Oh I dare not even think of the number of hours I’d been forced to listen to others carrying on about sentimentalities that happened decades ago, and the most unfortunate, is having to listen to them over, and over again. Fortunately, I’ve finally managed to get myself distanced far enough from those endless broken-record narratives. My friend has also had similar experiences, and fully understood how pointless it is to even listen to them. After giving each other a few good laughs, it was time for the both of us to go out and start enjoying our day.

With yesterday being too windy to work outdoors, I proceeded to change my clothes and have a go at what was supposed to be yesterdays project which happened to be more yard work. You may consider it a bit late, but without snow and extreme cold, it was a perfect day for me to keep working. You can bet I was over-joyed the wind was only but a whisper. I was hard at it for a good four hours, and dare say I wasn’t feeling the least bit cold because I’d dressed for it. I only wish I had my camera with me when the sun was out for a very short time because that “golden glow” was happening again. Without snow, our North Iowa winter-scape has another definition which pleases me all the more. I kept telling myself, “The more you get done now, the less you’ll have to do come Spring.”

After giving myself a good tuckering-out, I went back to my office and had a light lunch, and then played a handful of Christmas songs on my piano just to get myself into the Christmas mood. I was smiling when playing as the memories of the many years I played organs and pianos for several area churches. Back in those days I’d be a bit overly-nervous with all those people listening down below, but luckily I’ve now managed to dismiss those fearful thoughts because I’ve come to believe that as long as we do our best, it shouldn’t even matter if you strike the wrong key or momentarily lose you place and have to wing it. No matter how well a person plays a musical instrument, it’s the method of the musician that matters. I’ll not mention names, but right here in River City there are keyboardists who’re accomplished, but unfortunately they either modify what’s written to their own liking, or become machine-like to where there’s no movement in their music. Yes, I do chide myself at times whenever finding I’m being critical of other musicians, as I’m sure they’ve similarly given un-kind reviews of me.

Now that Christmas is only twelve days away, I’ll have to really focus on getting into the spirit of it all, and just today while out working, “The Christmas Song” was going round and round in my mind. You know how it goes, “Chestnuts roasting on and open fire…”. Of all the Christmas things people do, I’ve never roasted Chestnuts on an open fire, nor even eaten one, and when thinking about it, I don’t even remember anyone I know ever having roasted them. It must be something they do in other areas of our Country.

When reflecting on it all, Christmas dinners are varied with certain families where some have a dried-up turkey, others having an overly-salted ham, and even those of my tribe having goose. With goose being so terribly expensive now, I dare say there are very few who have it as their main meat dish. Yes, in years gone by, I’ve been a party to all the many very good holiday meals, but, as family numbers dwindle due to death, and others moving away, it’s the evolution of it all. I’m still of the belief Christmas being what you make it to where as long as you’re enjoying the day, then that’s all what should matter. Perhaps this year I’ll build a fire and find some Chestnuts to roast. What do you think?

I have a closing scheduled for tomorrow morning which will be yet one more of my listings having sold and closed. Please put the word out, “Holtz Realty needs listings!”

Tonight’s One-liner is: Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur

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