Dreaming of a Green Christmas

Yes, the glaciers are melting, and those sad little polar bears on the commercials are trying to remind us. But this is not that. This is a note about living in the desert, where all things green are about as elusive, magical and mysterious as Santa.Last week it rained. I mean ALOT. Alot for the desert, alot for not being monsoon season, alot for anywhere, really. Desert people are not used to this. They can’t drive in it, they think that school and social functions should be cancelled as if for blizzard or plague, and main roads–unaccustomed to condensation–flood in about 5 minutes. So, a week of this in the midst of shopping season was exactly the kind of chaos you would imagine it to be.

Yesterday I went wandering in the desert. (Don’t tell my husband; he does not like me to do that without taking my cell phone. But without signal, i really don’t know how that phone is going to help me in the event of a kidnapping. I mean, could i use it as a weapon maybe? Is there a tazer app for a droid device?! Because, now that might be kind of awesome…)

Anyway, set out with my dog for some wilderness roaming. And what to my wondering eyes should appear…GREEN. Little shots of it, everywhere…Like a small child had colored the ground with a green crayon, in that loose way that children color without quite getting all the space filled in, but still leaving the illusion of the right color being in place.

Miraculous green. It was not the green of Christmas in Appalachia (which, let’s be honest, is mostly gray and brown except for that which we cut down and decorate); it was not Dickensian, it was not sparkling, and in this place, there is still little hope of snow. No, this was the green of a dry desert place, receiving a blessed drink after long, thirsty seasons of waiting. This was the green of new life that waits, just beneath the surface, to spring up with the first splash of water. This green embraces the light, and it speaks of good things to come.

Welcome, Christmas. We are thirsty, and we are ready.

It will rain, it will rain in the desert.

In the cracks of the plain, there’s a treasure.

Like the thirst of the seed, we await, we believe,

It will rain, it will rain in the desert.” –Emmylou Harris

 
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About Erin Wathen

Rev. Erin Wathen is the Senior Pastor of Saint Andrew Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Olathe, KS (www.sacchome.org). She's a Kentucky native, a long-time desert dweller, and she writes about the sacred thread that runs through pretty much everything. For more info, click the 'about' tab above...


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