By Michael Gobert
I have plenty to think and talk about regarding Nature’s Christmas. In fact there is more than I have time, space, or am allowed to share. However the weight, enormity, and breadth, of this topic are simple to share. Christmas lies in the similar giving of life that is found through Nature.
Nature and Christmas are synonymous - many words are descriptive of both. I have often had the experience of walking through the woods at night, surrounded by a silent shroud of snow. I am filled with the feelings of peace, love, harmony, joy, comfort, and silence. That silence has provided the opportunity to reflect upon many past Christmas experiences. One of my favorites was going to my Grandma Dea’s, because that literally meant “going over the river and through the woods”, as she lived in the country and that was the route we had to follow. Always the house was warm and filled with joy, laughter, compassion, and the excitement of the giving of our hearts through love and represented by presents. The joy was equally as evident on the smiling gift givers face upon seeing the gratefulness in the recipients face, and upon hearing the verbal acknowledgement of gratitude.
Nature also provides for us through it’s bounty of food, space, clothing, air, water, and light. At grandma’s Christmas there were always bowls of nuts to crack. While eating the acorns I would think of the shade those mighty oaks provided from the summers strong heat. Quenching my thirst with her crisp, clean, and cold well water, I would be reminded of the spring that we had lunch beside while hunting morel mushrooms, in her deep woods of oak and hickory, beech and maple, and poplar and ash. Actually most of what we feasted upon for Christmas dinner came from her gardens and the surrounding property. Sitting around afterwards with my full stomach made me all the more grateful for nature’s bounty. However contented I felt, all was surpassed by how joyous it was to share all of this with my family. Everyone was there from grandparents to cousins and siblings. All were filled with the spirit of giving, loving gratitude, and hope for the same peace of mind for all of mankind to know and share.
I want this same feeling to be an opportunity for all people to have. This is why I wanted the Allen County Parks to support Nature’s Christmas at Metea. I am blessed to work with a wonderful staff that not only embody these ideals for our gathering, but are also the embodiment of these ideals with each other and with all whom we share our lives from our community.
Come share Nature and Christmas, on December 11 from 2pm - 5pm, but most importantly come to share yourself and the true spirit of love, peace for mankind and charitable giving for all. If the halls decked out in bows and holly are not enough, then take a hike, go cross country skiing or sledding, com in and warm up with cocoa, and visit St. Nicholas (the giving saint). Come and build your own memories of Nature and Christmas.