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San Clemente Journal

Time for the Holidays

Nov 20, 2017 08:12PM ● By Don Kindred
AT some point this holiday season, most of us will gather around a table with family and friends to reflect on the year just passed. This year there will be ample topics for conversation, even after politely setting politics aside. The weather alone has spawned a thousand conversations, the earth had a pretty tough quarter. 

The technological shrinking of our planet takes us right to the sidelines of history. For the last three months I’ve felt like a voyeur to it, the often minute-by-minute drama. I watched intently as Hurricane Harvey took a path toward my birthplace in Southeast Texas, and I was able to witness, with solemn pride, how my relatives reacted to the disaster. Houston Strong. I stayed tuned through Hurricane Irma as it took aim on my father’s home in Southeast Florida. He came through OK but millions did not. I watched from the safety of my living room, as the fury of these storms cut great swaths of destruction through the Caribbean. Islands with 95% of their structures obliterated, paradise evaporated.

It seemed like only the next morning we woke up to news of a strong earthquake in Mexico. Buildings down, major damage, people trapped, lives lost. Another morning we could practically smell the wildfires that filled the big sky country of Montana, or the fires that burned the California wine country, and even our neighbors in Anaheim Hills. Devastating losses, homes erased, lives reset to zero. 

Along with the hauntings of Mother Nature. Man has left his mark as well. I woke unusually early on October 2, the glowing TV still tuned to the news that put me to sleep the night before. It was an iphone-live experience from Las Vegas, watching bullets raining on innocent concert goers just like I was there. People trying to hide from an unseen shooter. Now the latest, at a rural church.

Each of us have been touched by at least one of these tragedies. If only because we are personally or web-connected to so many others. If there is one thing I hope we have learned from all this, it’s that we should never take anything for granted, especially not time. Never miss an opportunity to tell people you love them.

I hope when you find yourself at that table, when the electronics are stowed and souls are bared, that you are filled with reasons to be thankful. That you feel genuine affection for those who you share your table with and your home is filled with the comforting calm of peace.
We are due for some.

 Don Kindred