Christmas cactus offers reminder of hope

Hi Friends,

I hope the sun finds its way through the clouds before long. The gray quota in our days is way over the top, and we’re barely past the winter solstice. It’s a part of those expectations we’ve come to adopt as the year melts away and we begin writing the wrong date on most things for the first half of January. At least I do. Sort of a “bonus month” for 2014.

Centenarian Christmas Cactus
Centenarian Christmas Cactus

There are all sorts of those “expectations” that we count on at this time. Our ancient Christmas cactus is offering a half-dozen or so blossoms from its semi-regal perch on an equally-ancient oak table in our dining room. We really consider the holidays’ arrival when those red-pink displays appear once more. How many Decembers has that trusty old photosynthesis proponent successfully signaled the season? Some great-great-great grandma-in-law of mine was the first to witness it. I hope it’s around for another generation or two to witness the beauty.

I’ve sometimes thought of the changes that people have experienced in the lifetime of this old plant, which could easily date to the early 1900’s. Many of us are aware of these oldies-but-goodies. Some of us view them as both a blessing and a curse. Woe be it to the caregiver that drowns or starves Great Grandma’s Christmas cactus. Reality is, they’re more hardy than given credit.

Hope is something frequently offered up this time of year. We hope our friends and family have a wonderful holiday season. We hope someone gets over a cold. We hope the Huskers do well in their bowl game. We hope the roads are safe for travelers. We hope to get the holiday shopping done. We hope NOT to have to spend an entire day at the post office or UPS store. For the dwindling number of us who send holiday greetings, we hope to get that family letter done. We hope to get to our place of worship on Christmas Eve or another appropriate gathering time. We hope our service people are safe where ever they may be serving around the world. We hope special ones in our lives can be with us over these next days for a meal or a drink or a hug. We hope for those who have no address that their burdens may be lighter in the new year.

While we are in the business of helping people buy and sell houses and other spaces, we also hope that those new-found abodes are filled with happy occupants. After all, we hope those are now homes, not just houses. We hope for the possibility of peace, however that may be measured. Peace in our city, our nation and our world. And most importantly, I hope for peace in our hearts.

May your holidays be filled with deep meaning and peace. Here’s hoping!

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