Creek. Silence.

There are no mosquitoes around Mosquito Creek. Or, perhaps they do live there, but they were not around today.

It was too cold for mosquitoes, but it was the perfect for a walk along the creek, as evidenced by the dozens of humans and dogs that strolled by us along the way. The sun was out, shining brightly in a sky with very few clouds, and the air had a slight chill; not cold enough to warrant a heavy coat or many layers, but enough that we didn’t feel warm or sweaty as we trekked on the path by the creek.

The water rushed by beside us. We walked hand-in-hand for some of the time, and close to each other for the rest. We stopped only to pet the dogs that passed us, to say hello to the other friendly walkers, and to take three photos along the way. The gravel from the path seeped into my shoes, and I didn’t mind.

This is the afternoon of Christmas eve: surrounded by trees and water and sunshine and the woman I love. For this I am thankful. For this I celebrate.

It is quiet in this room, mostly because people at the art gallery are taught to be quiet in galleries even though there’s no real reason to be silent. It is also quiet because people are taken aback by the scale of the exhibit, by the hundreds of stools, seemingly strung up and held together by invisible forces, ready to fall at even the lightest of touches.

Like many other pieces of art, it takes your breath away, the first time you see it. It is its breath-taking quality and its seeming precariousness that forces people to be silent, as if any extra respiration will make it all come tumbling down.

I stand the in the middle, stare up, and breathe deeply, loudly. Sometimes, silence is overrated.

Somebody sent me a text message this morning, asking what I got for Christmas. I hesitated, a little, to answer.

I could have told her that I got a shoe horn, robot, cocktail book, artisan salami, leather dopp kit, French press, and selfie stick, among other little fun goodies.

Instead, I told her that I got a quiet Christmas morning with a good book, a delicious breakfast with one side of the family, a walk through a canyon with the woman I love, and a Christmas dinner with the other side of the family. Instead, I told her that I got hugs and smiles and laughter and lots of warmth, literal and figurative. I told her that I got a happy heart and content soul.

It is a merry Christmas, indeed.