Posted by: Kara Luker | December 25, 2010

A very merry Christmas

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14

Horsetooth Reservoir on Christmas Day

Today is Christmas. We are in Colorado for our usual holiday visit with the wonderful family and friends we left here when we moved away. It was a ridiculously beautiful day – brisk, sunny, and perfect for a meander on the path by the reservoir. So after breakfast, coffee, and a few rounds of the entertaining game my nephew, Aksel, got for Christmas, we set out in the silver Matrix and headed for the trail.

The reservoir was blue and sparkling, sitting in between the hills with the light hitting it just right. Aksel said he could see Wyoming, complete with the sign welcoming one to the state. We wandered down the hill through fields of tall wheat-like grass, jumping out of the way for the bikes speeding down or the joggers trudging up. Each passerby gave a friendly “thank you” or “Merry Christmas.” We sat on the flat boulders lining the trail to relieve Akel’s six-year old legs, and marveled at the people going by, peeled right out of an REI catalog, using their bodies and sporty gear as God must have intended.

Aksel lost his oomph when it was time to climb back up the hill. Michael distracted him with several variations of I Spy. At one point, Michael said, “I hear with my ear something that moves.” Aksel quickly replied, “Aunt Kari’s mouth.” The intended answer was wind, but Aksel later emphasized the correctness of his answer.

We ran into someone we knew. We chatted. We walked. Cole and I kept getting ahead of the others. We came into view of the top of the hill and shouted back some encouragement to Aksel. There were several deer across one of the fields. Cole wanted to run over to them but I took a picture instead, which missed all but one of the perfectly still animals. A conversation ensued about the proper terminology for a group of deer. Cole’s initial response of flock led us in all sorts of directions like prides and schools and gaggles, but we eventually landed on herd.

Michael and Aksel found a shortcut we had missed, so Cole and I sprinted up the remainder of the hill, gasping for breath in the altitude, but failed to reach the car first. We drove the short way home and my body, which has been going on very little sleep, felt so relaxed that I fell into a sweet sleep that seemed to extend itself into eternity.

When I awoke, Michael and Cole were watching bobsledding and some sort of musical ensemble that would have succeeded as a parody. I intended to write this post then, while everyone was occupied, but found myself suddenly surrounded with life… Aksel jumping on the bed on one side of me, Cole juggling on the other side, and the dog on top of my computer. So I let it go, and joined the boys in a “snowball” fight with juggling balls. It was joyful and perfect, although I may still have some welts tomorrow.

The evening ended with a wonderful dinner, a group effort on cleanup, a nice conversation with John, from which Cole tried heartily to distract me, and several more rounds of Aksel’s very addicting game.

Everyone is now in bed and I’m enjoying the quiet and solitude, thankful that God would send his son to this harsh world to free me from the chains that bound me and afford me the beauty of a day like today. Merry Christmas!

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