Christmas Cactus 5

I came down the steps wearily the other morning and did my routine of opening the blinds in the living room so the plants can get sunlight.  I was a bit weary because I’ve been nursing a cold that came on last Sunday and was on my way to do the first of three major gigs in as many days.

That morning, I was facing a 3 hour workshop and felt nervous because the client had met with me several times to plan it, checked in regularly over several months to converse about it, and had told me the week before that the workshop was going to have five or six staff members in addition to the more than 40 participants.  (This was much more involvement from a workshop client than I’d had in years.)  I was grateful for the gig, but I needed it to be in the rearview mirror instead of the front. window  I’d added a prayer that the workshop go well to my usual prayers for healing for friends, clarity of mind, etc.  I was working hard to talk my cold out of descending on me and wreaking habit on my voice.

I opened the blinds and, lo and behold, I saw that our Christmas cactus was sporting several buds.  This cactus has grown full and lush over the past couple of years.  It’s bloomed three out of the nearly five years we’ve lived in our house.  Seeing the blooms was an immediate lift to my mood, so much so, that I found myself in the holiday spirit as I made my way downtown to “the Commons” across from which the workshop was being held.

I thought about how  holiday lights will soon adorn the trees on the Commons (at least I hope so – it would be a shame if budget issues prevented the lights – they are so festive). 

I walked downtown after the workshop but, with Filene’s gone and the shell of the building left waiting for the developer to get the additional financing to resume construction, it’s just not the same downtown any more.  This is a case of unnecessary demolition and construction!  Downtown was just fine the way it was.  A Tar-get (Tarjay) at that location would have been a wonderful thing.  We don’t need another office/condo tower.  We need to stop the attempts to Manhattanize Boston.  Let Manhattan be Manhattan and Boston be Boston. (I apologize for this quick vent.)  Back to my holiday joy. There are still crowds of people and the Macy, TJ Maxx and Marshalls stores will provide plenty of shopping ops for people who are able to shop.

Anyhow, the Christmas cactus started my holiday feelings flowing.  I decided that;

  • I will send out greeting cards, after all; maybe not as many as in previous years but some. 
  • I will “borrow” a friend’s daughter and go see Black Nativity at Tremont Temple.  It is an uplifting holiday tradition in its 39th year.  (Thanks to the National Center of Afro-American Artists for making this an annual happening in Boston.  Thanks to Langston Hughes for writing the play.)  The music can rouse the most cynical spirit among us.
  • I will be with my family for the holidays. 

The spirit has arrived all because of a Christmas cactus sprouting several blossoms.


About Candelaria Silva

Candelaria Silva-Collins is a marketing, community outreach and programming consultant; writer; and trainer/facilitator who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She has designed and facilitated workshops on a wide variety of topics including communication, facilitation, job search skills, team building, and parenting issues. She currently coordinates the Community Membership Program of the Huntington Theatre Company. Her work as Director of ACT Roxbury was profiled in several publications, including The Creative Communities Builders Handbook. Candelaria’s children’s stories, short stories, essays and reviews have been published in local and national publications and she is an active blogger. Her publications include the booklets, Handling Rejection; Pushing through Shyness: Networking Tips when You’re Shy, Slow to Warm Up or Just don’t Feel you Belong; and Real Questions about Sex & Relationships for Teens: A Discussion Guide for Parents. She has served on the boards of Goddard College, Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston Foundation for Architecture, and Discover Roxbury. She is currently Chair, Designators of the Henderson Foundation.

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