My friend, L, has been visiting so she could partake in the wonder of Christmas Weekend in my town. You laugh, but you shouldn’t. Small towns are magical, well, my small town is magical.
The beginning of the event was at a “Memorial Tree.” A tradition that was started 11 years ago when a family lost their little girl. It became a place where people could hang ornaments in memory of people they loved who’d died. Last night an acapella choir from the local university, Adams State, sang carols in front of the tree where a small group had gathered. They had beautiful voices and were accompanied by a beautiful sunset. Then someone explained the existence of the tree and said a prayer after which the lights of the tree were plugged in.
Meanwhile, up and down the main street, other people were lighting fires in fire pits. L brought a chair for me 😦 so I didn’t have to stand a long time. I really, really, really, really hate this arthritis thing, but there it is.
Everyone was on tenterhooks, waiting for the parade to start…
We painted a bunch of rocks to add to my collection of already painted rocks with the thought of hiding them on the parade route. We took all the rocks to the parade. We hid two at the base of the tree near the fire pit where we were hanging out. They were found by two little girls, sisters. The first little girl LOVED hers — it was a sugar skull for Dia de los Muertos.
The other little girl didn’t like hers as much. It was a smaller rock, a painting of the mountains, blue sky, sand dunes with a gold star in the sky. Her mom tried to point out the good features, saying, “Look at the star! It’s a Christmas rock,” but she didn’t like it much and tried to trade with her sister. Ultimately, she was stuck with it and began the process of learning to like it.
Then it slipped out of her hand and hit the steel grate that protects the tree roots. It broke! The ROCK broke in half! There was moaning about putting it back together but inside it was FULL of shiny quartz crystals! It was BEAUTIFUL. She said, “I never saw the inside of a rock before,” and showed me.
The quartz crystals reflected the light from the fire pit.
We looked at the reflected firelight. I said, “That’s amazing. There’s a star on the outside and stars on the inside.”
She ended up feeling she got the better rock of the two and it was BROKEN.
I thought about how stars are actually rocks, but I didn’t say anything about it.
The parade finally started — it seems to me there were four real floats and other vehicles that had been decorated with lights and stuff. The police had their HUGE Humvee used for chasing bad guys over the wild landscape. The fire department brought out our new (and immense) hook and ladder truck. We’re a small town and we actually have a hard time coming up with the money for sufficient law enforcement. Sad but true. These vehicles are like, “Wow! We have trucks!”
My favorite float was the one we saw being finished the day before behind the Monte Vista High School maintenance building. Friday, we were walking the dogs when we saw the people finishing up the float. It was so cool. The people building it were so jazzed. I happened to have a painted rock in my pocket — a Christmas tree in the mountains with squirrels on the ground — and I gave it to them. It was a VERY inspiring float complete with a slide show! The theme of the parade was “Lets put Peace and Joy back in Christmas” and the slide show was about the things that keep us from feeling joy and that make peace difficult. The float played up-beat Christmas music.
I don’t know if painted rocks are any kind of real currency, but…