CHRISTMAS GREETING 2000
Colorado Winter Scene
Peace on Earth
The Christmas season of 1999 was spent in Italy.
It was a whirlwind of wonderful holiday images.
Venice dressed in her finest decorations, and filled with gifts of every
sort. Bright Christmas lights were strung from the bridges, and throughout the
streets. A small market was set up in one of the squares.In
the lovely town of Lucca, northwest of Florence we visited with two wonderful
friends, who had both been art teachers in my grade school. Their influence on
me was deep. It was a remarkable day full of memories of my childhood, and
the beautiful surroundings of the Tuscan hills. We shared a magnificent meal
that went on for hours in their home, and soon it was time for the last train
out of town.
Christmas Eve delivered a wonderful dinner
then Midnight Mass at
the Duomo in Florence. We were lost in the masses of people that attended, the
huge church was packed with worshipers of all sorts. It was cold, and everyone
kept their winter jackets on. There was the smell of mothballs from the women's
furs, and incense from the altar, which drifted through the cathedral in waves. The service ended right
in front of us, as the baby Jesus was delivered to his cradle in the
manger. It was an impressive ceremony, and was very moving to be a part of.
Christmas morning was cold and rainy, we had a coffee, and wandered the empty
streets. We happened upon a Christmas morning Mass in a small baroque church. It
was a grand church with a very small congregation. It was quite beautiful in
it's intimacy, and a great contrast to the huge crowds of the night before.
each church on our journey I lit a candle. It felt comforting, and connected me
with the hundreds of generations that had performed this simple ceremony of
faith and worship. It made me feel a connection with Christmas past, and the
comfort that my feelings and concerns on that Christmas night had been shared by
many others throughout the continuum of time.
My fondest wishes
to all my friends, peace on Earth
Links to some of
the wonderful sites of Italy