Friday, Christmas Eve, as I flew into Tucson and into another southwestern sunset, the desert displayed to me its breathtakingly barren, apparently bleak magnificence for what felt like the thousandth time. Despite the Nativity-tides I've spent in the snowy climates of New England and the Intermountain West and notwithstanding representations of snowy if not actually snowbound states of nature generally being considered most illustrative of Christmas, for me the fullness of the reality of God's incarnation as a human alive in human history becomes most poignant among the palms, sands, rocks, cliffs, cacti, aloes and agaves (Partial list of local plants: barrel cacti, chollas, desert broom, Joshua trees, mesquite, ocotillo, palo verde, prickly pear cactus, saguaro...), the reality of God-among-us all the time no matter what, remains most self-evident in the fire of a desert sunset, in the budding dawn and incipient day the desert sunrise promises. [why? I’ll leave my readers thinking and guessing, though my essential theology gives you a major clue] And somehow remembering Jesus' birth in the Arizona desert is very different from recalling Jesus' Birth in the coastal desert of San Diego, where I've been spent more than a few wintertimes.
At Patti and Floyd's place way outside the Tucson city limits, our dinner for the big yearly gala was amazing! The buffet included chips and dips, a plethora of flavorsome and savory Mexican menu items (tacos, tostadas, flautas—or were they taquitos?—tamales, red chile, green chile, guacamole, refritos, arroz…as well as several sweet flavorfuls: giant cookies, chocolate layer cake, vanilla ice cream and homemade flan). Now Christmas Day evening has arrived; sundown's here again and we're ready to enjoy traditional turkey while the 7 (seven!) Husky, almost-Husky and Husky-look-alikes (Blues, Copper Queen, Denali, Easter Angel, Nanook, Nikki and Spirit of 2004) lounge around enjoying and protecting their gift toys and treats. Meanwhile, the evening news just announced it snowed today in Corpus Christi, TX, for the first time in over a century!
A most blessed Feast of the Nativity to all my readers and to God's entire beloved creation, reborn and redeemed in Christ Jesus!