"The xmas holidays have this high value: that they remind Forgetters of the Forgotten, & repair damaged relationships." - Mark Twain
You know, not to be a Danny Downer, but the frail and fleeting nature of life is a recurring theme in my books, and it's actually a central theme of Book 4 (which I hope to have out sometime next summer, but Book 3 must of course come first). Still, that's fiction. Over the past few weeks, meanwhile, I've had not one, not two, not three, but four different reminders of how that theme plays out in real life. In real life, life is frail. In real life, life is fleeting. And in real life, we mere mortals can't just hop on over to Gaia's glade, asking as Crystal did for the secret to immortality.
We can, however, work to make every day we're given into a life well lived. What does that mean? Well, when my own life is over, nobody is going to stand at my remembrance ceremony talking about how many books I've written or sold. Nobody is going to speak of the wondrous accomplishments with accreditation I've wrought. They will, however, (hopefully) tell tales of relationships, of memories that span a lifetime of us all traveling through it together.
That's what life's about.
The beautiful thing, incidentally, about this season is that the very thing I just said life is about is amplified by the "Spirit of the Season." We all decry the commercialism of gift-giving, yet we still participate. Why? Because, I think, down in our hearts, we know that the trading of gifts really isn't, or at least shouldn't be, about the gifts themselves. Instead, it's about finding an easy way to open a connection between two people through which joy, friendship, and love can flow.
So as you journey through the events of Christmas Eve today, and Christmas Day tomorrow, keep all that in mind. If you're like me and still have to brave the shopping areas (every single year I forget something till the day before Christmas) then try to do so with love and joy in your heart no matter how many idio--er, lovely fellow shoppers--cut you off. Think of someone you haven't connected with in a while, and reach out to them. Do it today, not tomorrow; you might find out as I did this morning that that person is no longer connectable with. Practice a random act of kindness. Smile at people, even--especially--when they don't deserve it.
Speaking of Christmas and gifts and stuff--I and my friends at Alexandria Publishing Group would like to help you enjoy the season with the gift of a free anthology. It contains bits of all of our writing, from fantasy to science fiction to humor. It's got Greek gods and zombies and nanobots, and even *gasp* a guitar or two, so what's not to love about it?
You can download it from Smashwords here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/268133
Enjoy, and have a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Holidays, a Joyful Kwanzaa, a Happy Hanukkah, a Merry Festivus, or whatever tradition you follow. And please, make it be about your incredible fellow travelers in the voyage of life.