The 11th Day of Christmas - Stories

December 14, 2013  •  1 Comment

Once upon a time…  It was a dark and stormy night… Call me Ishmael… In a galaxy far, far away…

I love a good story. I love entering a well written narrative and experience life, for a short time, from the perspective of someone other than myself. Today I got to do something I discovered and fell in love with last winter. It doesn’t snow a lot where I live but we do have more than our share of wind… a combination that led to quite a few of those coveted ‘snow days’ out of school when I was young. A combination that has created a new source of incredible stories I can explore.

For a couple weeks last year and again just last week something really cool happened. Snow fell for a few hours one afternoon leaving a fresh blanket of snow on the ground. The temperature then dropped and spent nearly a week hanging around those bitter negative numbers. These frigid temperatures dry out the snow and turns it into sugar crystals and sparkling diamond dust. Next, our old and faithful friend the wind does its part to turn the open spaces of our high desert into a sparkling white canvas.

I ran across a picture last year of mouse tracks in the snow of Yellowstone. These tracks take an abrupt right turn and then end suddenly in a well-defined print of a hawk’s wing feathers. Fascinating. Beautiful and haunting at the same time.  I got up before the sun the following morning and started wandering around the very frozen landscape of a small and exposed butte just outside of town. I was rewarded by a vast library of new stories laid out before me. I was mesmerized by all the tracks and trails left by now unseen critters. I was fascinated by the stories they told. There were the long and strait trails of coyotes that would deviate in spots to check out a bush or rock searching for food. IMG_2877-EditIMG_2877-Edit

There were happy stories told by several rabbit tracks meeting under a bush for what appeared to be quite a party. There were stories telling the ancient story of the circle of life with small prints ending in the print of one of the many large hawks that call this area home. These somewhat violent stories were often entered and explored by other trails of curious onlookers and sometimes the wandering coyote trails I mentioned before.


This same conditions presented themselves this weekend and I am grateful to have been able to spend the day reading these stories even though my feet are still cold and I haven’t got all of the feeling back into my fingertips.


Christmas is about stories old and new. Christmas is about the greatest story ever told. Christ taught those he loved by telling stories that everyone could understand. Christmas traditions… Christmas stories of ancestors passed down for us to hear… Christmas memories made today that will become tomorrow’s stories… I am grateful for them all. Did I tell you that I like stories?

We are who we are because of the stories that make up our lives. Stories that have been forgotten… stories that we may never forget and stories that aren’t finished yet. We are in control of some of our own stories and some stories just seem to play out without much direction from us. How we interpret and react to the stories that are ending often determine the direction of the story we are just beginning. I guess, when I think about it, that these stories are just chapters in a larger collection or volume. We may not be able to control all of the stories in our own collection but we can determine how they are presented and interpreted. We can’t really determine how our book ends because it never does. But we can make sure it is an interesting read and is a positive influence on those who may read it.

Enjoy reading, writing and exploring those stories. Both those you have a part in and those you get to enjoy from a distance. I am grateful for the stories that have intertwined with my own. They make mine far more interesting.



Shari Hart(non-registered)
Way cool!
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