flowers in december

Merry xmas yogis and yoginis! It's a lovely December in SF. Today I walked out in a tank top and shorts. It's quite a difference from where I grew up, on the East Coast, with snow, New York chestnuts, seeing the fog when you take a breath, ice skating.  I've bought chestnuts from street vendors with my parents, held hands and skated in Central Park with boyfriends, taken pictures in front of the wire angels in Rockefeller Center. 

I've lived in the Bay Area for twelve years. i've stayed here for six Christmases. Christmas without snow is somewhat surreal. While we try with trees and mock rinks, we can't quite recreate the effect.

It's an interesting time of year because the 'majority' of the city is out of town. SF is full of transplants. Last night I was at dinner with a friend, talking about the gentrification here, and the disparity between the 'haves' and the 'have nots'. 

It's been a prominent debate in the past few months. I've lived here through two booms and one recession. I do believe that this 'boom' has been the most pronounced, and I'm curious to see what 2014 has in store for us.

The holidays in San Francisco highlight the city's transplant culture. It's entirely empty. The aura of the city is different during this time, quieter. It's a novel city. Parking is open, restaurants are easy to get into, subways and buses are empty. It makes me sad how many people live here, but don't really live here.

What is a West Coast Christmas? 

Some friends and I have made a tradition of volunteering on Christmas for Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly. I've done this for a few years. The practice -- we bring gifts and flowers and Company to elders in the city. The idea is that people need 'flowers' as much as they need food, that we need company as much as the essentials. I think it's a rewarding thing to do on a holiday like Christmas, where it's easy to get caught up in the materialism. I think that the elderly are an often underserved population, even though we'll all be there sooner than later. I'd like to continue this tradition with my own family when I have one, to remind us to appreciate the company we have, to appreciate the flowers that we have every day.

The need for flowers unites us. It doesn't matter how much we have materially, we'll always be grateful for company. At the end of the day we are all 'have nots' without each other, so let's not forget it...