"It is good to collect things, but it is better to go on walks." --Anatole FranceI've spent the last few days with family... it being Christmas and all. This is the first Christmas that I haven't gone back to Canada. Usually, I pack up the gifts and my Lululemon yoga pants and brave the elements north of the border.
(And by elements, I mean the airports and questions from the rellies about who I'm dating and why I live so far away.)
But this year, some of the family came to me. The rest we met on video chat on Christmas morning.
We've spent time sitting in the sun...
... looking for the corkscrew...
...and playing with toys....
The niece is very serious about Strawberry Shortcake.
I received some lovely gifts, but the best part of the holidays has been going for walks. The ability to walk outside without bundling up is one of the best gifts of being in Santa Monica in December. We walk. We stop for coffee. We walk some more. We stop at the playground. We walk some more.
In that spirit, I've been reading The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin, as shown with help from the niece.
"WHY?! Why must you read, Auntie Jan, when there are so many toys to play with?"
The book is about Songlines of the Indigenous people of Australia. Wikipedia says, "By singing the songs in the appropriate sequence, Indigenous people could navigate vast distances, often travelling through the deserts of Australia's interior."
A map made of song!
How lovely is THAT?!
Wikipedia goes on to say that these fancy sing-song nomads can "navigate across the land by repeating the words of the song, which describe the location of landmarks, waterholes, and other natural phenomena."
We, in my five person troupe made of three adults and two children, have a sing-songy way about us as we navigate our way around Santa Monica. The lead singer, the five-year-old, is accompanied by the backup singer in the stroller and the three adults following behind.
I think all this singing and walking is good practice for my 2011 nomadic adventure.
Where will I start my nomadic adventure? I have two optional starting lines for my songlines. Can you guess what they are, dear reader?
Clue number one: THIS blog entry.
Clue number deux: THIS clue.