Friday, December 19, 2014

You Are A Mean One, Mr. Grinch.

Less than a week 'till Christmas and I am doing OK.

A nearby village, that for a few decades had gone through difficult times, reinvented itself and its image to become a go-to place for people in the area.  It had once been a steel town and people were employed and prosperous there for generations.  In the seventies that all changed when the foundry closed and the jobs went away. Around the year 2000, the town fathers and mothers decided to come up with a plan to turn things around and bring new life to the often empty storefronts and streets.  The old movie theater that was built in 1906, was restored and remodeled by volunteers and now shows wonderful indie movies and hosts many musical and comedy acts.  Entrepreneurs saw the foot traffic and opened restaurants which brought others to invest in interesting shops along the walkway.  The town is alive again and festivities are held almost every weekend for people of all ages to enjoy.

During this season of light and hope, the kickoff for the holidays is the Firebird Festival, where a structure symbolizing the Phoenix that has risen through the ashes and is reborn is celebrated.  A local artist and a large band of volunteers give of their time for a few months to build this bird and it is always a fabulous sight.   Thousands come to town to see it's lighting and it is just as important to the spirit of the people of this once dying town as it is to its economy.

Then, in the dark hours of the early morning, on the day of this celebration this year, a sneaky Grinch came to town and burned the Phoenix down. 

"The Grinch hated Christmas!  The whole Christmas season!
Now please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason.

It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight.
It could be his head wasn't screwed on just right. 

But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that his heart was two sizes too small.
(Dr. Seuss).

Through social media, the news spread quickly.  Hundreds of townspeople quickly gathered at the site, bringing wood and tools and the rebuilding began within hours. No, it was not the bird that it had been, it was better.  It was the heart of the people who brought the Phoenix back to life and on that evening all those from our Whoville, assembled and celebrated and sang.  The flames lit up the sky and their spirit was renewed, once again.

"That's a noise" grinned the Grinch, "that I simply must hear!"
He paused, and the Grinch put a hand to his ear.

Every Who down in Whoville, the tall and the small
Was singing without any presents at all!

And the Grinch, with his Grinch feet ice cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling,.  "How could it be so?"
(Dr. Seuss)

 The celebration went on, the night was more appreciated, and the grinch who thought that he had stolen the night, didn't. 

However you celebrate the holidays, I wish you joy and contentment and for love to surround you. Keep your spirits high and look for the good in everyone - even a Grinch, because perhaps, he needs hope most of all.