Christmas in July: Unexpected gifts

On a trail, an ordinary trail . . .

wooded path

. . .through the National Capital Commission Greenbelt near my home, we encountered an unexpected surprise.

Christmas!

Evergreen tree decorated with coloured Christmas balls in the summer.

The trail is popular with cross-country skiers in the winter,  so I imagine the trees got decorated by someone in the festive spirit last December. Theirs was the gift that keeps on giving, because I enjoyed the happy surprise in July.

Close up of a red Christmas ball against summer greenery.

After I had soaked up the gift and carried on, I took about two steps before I was brought up short by the next “gift” on my path: a garter snake. I was too busy going into a full-body shudder to take a picture, but if I had, it would have looked something like this.

That’s what a full-body shudder looks like.

I like snakes—far away from me. I know they are good for my garden and nature and all that, and that’s wonderful—far away from me.

While I was shuddering and peering into the undergrowth to make sure the snake was well and truly gone, a jogger happened along. To explain why I was standing still and looking creeped out, I used one word.

“Snake.”

The jogger broke into a big smile. “Sometimes you just get lucky like that,” he said, and carried on.

I had to laugh. I hadn’t considered myself lucky to have seen a snake before he changed my perspective. He made me think. I remembered that snakes represent transformation and creative life force. I remembered that they are part of the medical symbol, a symbol of healing. For me personally, they are a symbol of unnecessary fear. That is, fear of something that is NO BIG DEAL, and how I conquer that fear simply by recognizing it.

Come to think of it, those ideas are tied into what Christmas is all about too.

I like these Christmas gifts. They didn’t cost a penny, I didn’t have to wrap them, and there was no baking involved.

If only the real Christmas were a little more like that. 

 

 

 

About Arlene Somerton Smith

Writer, laughing thinker, miner of inspirational insights, sports fan, and community volunteer

Posted on July 10, 2018, in Arlene Smith, Arlene Somerton Smith, Inspiration, Just for Fun, progressive christianity, spirituality. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. What a neat progression of ideas. I usually sigh at the commercialization of Christmas in July, but you made me see things in a more inspiring way. That’s a gift too. Thanks, Arlene!

  2. I have come upon this tree and a couple of others in our greenbelt. They always make me smile. Thank you to the mystery spirit of delight who does this. It is often only when we stop and pause in our travels that we see the presents before us. Happy trails!

    • Thanks, Karen. So good to hear from you. I figured some of the locals would know what I’m talking about. I don’t usually walk on that particular trail – I go the other direction usually – so it was a first for me.

  3. I wonder how many people walking that trail have never seen those gifts. Being in nature is great, seeing in nature is miraculous.

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