I remember that warm, summer night lying in my bed at camp just before midnight looking out at the thousands, no hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions of stars just beyond the trees. All of camp was quiet. Not a creature was stirring. Not even a mouse! The Sierras are a place I hold close to my heart. While mostly a summertime destination for me, I hope to see the snow there soon. That night was one which rejuvenated my own inner child. The Sierras are that happy place that set the world back in order.
That photograph is one of my favorite photos of the year. It’s natural this time of year to reflect on the year – what got checked off the list, what remains on the list, and things you not thought to put on the list. This isn’t one of those posts. Like every year, 2016 brought about enormous change. I’m not here to tell you all the things I did – or even the ones I think you should do.
A couple of years ago I moved into my first apartment without roommates. I remember talking with my mother about throwing a party. She’s a fabulous entertainer and one I’ve learned a lot from along the way. She told me to have everything ready an hour before the guests arrive so that you can be fully present at your party. Don’t be confused with “living in the moment.” It’s not about overextending oneself as if tomorrow won’t exist. Being present in the moment is all about focusing on what’s here and now so that you fully absorb the good that surrounds you.
Time after time I continue to learn the value in her advice. Today was Homoto’s (the motorcycle club I ride with) Christmas party. It was touching for me to invite so many people I’ve not seen in a while all under my roof. Hosting community is one of the things that turns a house into a home for me.
Also, this weekend Dan and I along with many others rallied around Club 1220’s 40th year in business. It’s an achievement for a business to stay alive that long. It’s a bigger achievement for a service industry like a bar to make it 40 years. Forty years ago Walnut Creek welcomed a gay bar into the community – after being turned down by a number of other communities. I’m thankful for the foresight our city leaders had back then and those who have built our community to what it is today.
So for me, this holiday is about two things: being present in the moment and holding those dear close to me.
Dan and I wish all of you much love and happiness this holiday season.