Audrey's Christmas Letter "2005"

December 15th, close to midnight and I am taking Mocha for his nightly walk. It is a cold clear night, full moon. and a heavy dew on the ground. As I move the flashlight over the grass the frozen crystals sparkle in the light. It is an enchanting sight as I sweep my light across the field. In the morning snow flakes are falling. I watch from the window as the snow grows deeper. In the twilight Mocha and I walk in the first snow of the season. The next morning the sun shines in a clear blue cloudless sky. crystals sparkle in the light. Millions of lights on a blanket of pure snow. Long deep blue shadows caused by the low angle of the sun, stretch out from tree trunks and buildings across the ground following the contour with smooth curves. The snow sticks to every tree limb and weighs down the branches of the fir trees. It is quiet and calm. It is perfect.

The first day of winter. I walk with the dog at sunset. The horizon is pale peach. Above the peach in layers long clouds pink mauve with streaks of purple build above one another and then above them clear sky blue with lemon yellow. The light still falls on the snow now in shadow. Across the field the snow lies in the tracks left the tractor from summer haying, parallel lines I follow to the farm house and there the hedge by the road now almost black with hint of deep red. Beyond across the cove silhouetted is the shape of the land dark with a single small light from a house reflecting in the water. The sun disappears and shapes merge. All is dark but the sky and snow and the small light across the cove shining in the water.

Yes it is my favorite time of year again. The time of contrasts, the time we are reminded of the light in the darkness. The neighbors decorate their yards especially those with children, lights strung around bushes and door frames, and across the eaves. There are lights that shape reindeer, candy canes, snowmen and santa and through the window can be seen the lights of the christmas tree. A religious holiday that has turned into a money making season for businesses and spending for the consumers, regardless of that, it is good because families get together to give to each other, to share, to express love and to wish for peace. For a few days the problems of the world are put on hold and goodness comes forth.

The holidays are the highlight of the season for me. Decorating the house with balsam greens, my favorite smell, putting up the tree cut from our yard and hanging the ornaments collected over the years. I bake and listen to Christmas music and so enjoy the atmosphere. The afternoon before christmas day the owner of Fernalds five and dime has his annual open house, He serves oyster stew and egg nog. Many of the towns people drop in. My neighbors come for Christmas eve dinner. a tradition we have been doing a number of years now. Doug arrived Christmas day with Christina a long time friend and Charlie and I through Doug have known her a long time also. Their relationship has become more intimate and I am happy for both. We had another wonderful meal, constant eating, cookies, chocolates, nuts, resting, talking, reading, walking together, enjoying the company of each other. I have a new i book g4 laptop computer Doug brought up because he loaded the programs I need and he spent a lot of time showing me how to work with them. I wanted a computer I can carry with me that has images from my digital camera that I can use for reference when I paint. It rained Christmas night , turned colder and when we awoke Monday there was three inches of snow. It felt more like Christmas. After a big breakfast late in the morning Tuesday Doug and Christina left for Newburyport. Friday night we went to a Christmas party at the house of Laura Cabot. Laura had the Pine Cone Restaurant in Waldoboro and now she has a catering business, so you can image how good the food was and the house was beautifully decorated, lots of fresh flowers and greens and a lovely tree.

So here we are at the end of another year, A lot has happened, the dirt is coming out of the wash as the expression goes. The rich and powerful are desperate, their lies and corruption are being exposed. Their arrogance and contempt for the rest of the world is turning against them. More and more people are speaking out, through books lectures, demonstrations, rallies in wal mat parking lots, on bridges, in the offices of public elected officials , in front of the white house and outside the presidents ranch. One of my favorite speeches was given by Bill Moyers after Now was taken off PBS, You can probably find the speech on the internet Yes the events of the last year have been dramatic, from nature to human conflicts.

At the same time spiritual awaking is taking place, Change does not happen until people realize the outside events are projections of inner beliefs. Science, philosophy, and spirituality are coming together. I bought the book The hidden Messages in Water by the japanese scientist that was part of the movie What the Pleb Do We Know, The frozen crystals of water he photographed formed their patterns from thoughts, from the vibrations of words written or spoken and from music, Water the most abundant aliment on earth, that makes up most of our body, where life is formed, takes on the emotions we feel and reflects them like a mirror, Thoughts are vibration. sound movement and light. Through powerful emotions, thoughts can become matter or events. As we know everything in the universe vibrates, it pulsates, it blinks on and off. It is alive. Without movement and change nothing can exist. Without separation and space nothing can exist. It is the invisible that makes the visible, the vibration that creates beauty or ugliness. So let us think well of ourselves and others, let us think of beauty and peace and create perfect crystals.

My neighbors bought a building on Main St. in Rockland, last building before the ferry terminal. They have been working hard for a year on the building bring it up to code, fixing up the apartments and building a glass studio in the basement that from the back is on ground level. The back of the building faces the harbor. I took a few swims in the water on hot days. They plan to have workshops and produce glass pieces for sale. Last spring there was a empty store front, small 15 feet square and they asked me if I wanted to use it for a gallery. I had heard Rockland is the up and coming place so I thought it would be a good opportunity. I was open afternoons Wed. through Sat. all summer. I came to realize that I was on the outskirts of downtown. I painted when I was there and once in a while I sold a painting. I also am a member of a new gallery Tidemark in Waldoboro that opened just before Thanksgiving. There was a Grand Opening Dec. 3rd and the gallery was packed like a sardine can. I have never seen so many people at one time in Waldoboro. I sit Wednesdays and again I paint while there. I am looking forward to using the computer screen to look at for reference when I paint. I have taken thousands of images with my camera and those images are now in this computer organized by categories. I also photograph all my paintings and put them into the computer for a record and I send them to Doug to put on the web site and ebay store.

The year went around as fast as usual. Last winter we had some cold spells and snow on the ground most of the time. All the storms were south of us so Doug got much more snow in Newburyport then us. Charlie was in the hospital for a week in February. He went in for one thing and then they discovered he had a a blood clot in the leg that broke off and traveled into the lung. So he was all wired up monitoring his heart, and antibiotics for the infection. In the middle of this the theater in Waldoboro was rehearsing for Bearwoff, 30 songs and it was going so badly that Charlie and I felt terrible. Amateurs. The script was written by a woman in her eighties, and the Waldo Theater promised her they would produce it. The way Charlie writes professionals would have had a hard time. So when it was performed in April it was a disaster. The performers did their best and I have to applaud them for sticking with it and having the courage to get up on the stage. Charlie worked a long time on the musical score and the music is beautiful, different from any musical most people are used to. It is good that it is all past now, time heals.

Spring was wet and cold, to late to plant much of a garden. Summer was good, not to many hot days, just enough fog and rain. I had many wonderful swims in the cove. Going to the gallery in Rockland was a routine I had to adapt to. I used the space like a studio and I painted a lot of paintings. I managed to get my swims in before I went to the gallery.

The month of April I had a show at the Round Top Center of the Arts in Damariscotta. Forty four paintings were hanging, a number were 3 x 4 feet. There was a good turn out on opening night. Doug and Christina came up for the event a three hour trip for them.

My show at the Newburyport Art Association was Oct 7 to 13. I stayed with Doug. I get waited on for a week. It is wonderful. I see old friends, get invited to dinners, go to movies, and paint. I go to the art association every day because friends come in to see me. Nancy and I took a trip to Portland to see the Rockwell Kent show. It was one of the highlights of the year. What a great show, powerful paintings. During my show It rained every day of the week except opening day. I don't know if that influenced attendance but there were not many people around and sales were off.

Doug is busy. He does carpentry, pottery, and gets commission work for shoe models. Chris works at the restaurant three days. He has more time to paint and he is in a very productive creative time right now. He is also in two galleries that are selling his paintings. Charlie spends all his time on the computer organizing and writing his music. There is always some upgrade on a music program that he has to learn. The jams are the only times Charlie gets to play with other musicians, He also plays the hymns every Sunday at Church. Charlie helps me a lot on the computer. Without his help I would probably give it up. Thanks to Doug for keeping the ebay and web site up to date. Go to our family web site,

Winter's contrasts remind me of how much I have and appreciate, a warm house, hot water, electric lights, warm cloths and plenty of food. I have everything needed to survive in a cold climate, There is something satisfying about being protected from cold, The house in winter is comforting, cozy like being wrapped in a cocoon. Life slows down, I have time to paint without interruptions.
My only reasoning for liking the winter season, the dark time of year, is that I have lived in the north before my present life.

It is interesting that my body does not tolerate cold. I wear layers of clothing. If I were exposed to cold without protection I would die quickly. One time when Chris was visiting, late summer, we rowed out to a little island to paint . It was warm and we had shorts on. Engrossed with painting time slipped by and finally we realized the sun was getting low, the tide was going out and we had to row back before we got stuck in the mud on the flats. I was starting to feel cold and put on my sweat shirt As the sun set the temperature dropped. The tide was just right for raking in a few mussels and Chris got caught up with that. Meanwhile I am feeling colder and shivering. Doug was waiting for us when we hit shore to help bring the boat in. We might have spent an hour at the most from the time we left the island to the time we got home and I have never felt as cold as I did then. I stood in the hot shower 15 minutes before I felt warm. So I certainly don't have the body of an Eskimo.

A few days have gone by since I started this letter. It is the second of January, the 8th day of Christmas and we are starting a new year, new cycle. Four on the couch, Charlie, on my left, a cat and the dog spread out on the right, They nap as I write. The sunlight floods the room, the fire in the wood stove sputters, all is quiet.

It is good to celebrate the birth of Christ now, at the winter solstice, the turning of the light. With birth we think of potential. We want the child to have a life filled with love, existence without fear so all the possibilities can be fulfilled. We all ponder our lives.

Christ's life is the example of our potential of what we can be and will be. In this time we are alive, the stage we live on, the drama we have created, is for us to learn from, to change, to correct, to grow, to fulfill, to make the world a better place. Think of the perfect crystal created by thought and remember every snowflake which is unique from every other snowflake falls in the right place and together they sparkle in the light.

Good health and happiness for the new year

X-mas Letter "2001"     X-mas Letter "2002"     X-mas Letter "2003"     X-mas Letter "2004"     X-mas Letter "2005"    

X-mas Letter "2006"     X-mas Letter "2007"     X-mas Letter "2008"     X-mas Letter "2009"     X-mas Letter "2010"    

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Audrey Bechler 968 Backcove Rd. Waldoboro, ME 04572 1-207-6832-6806
Layout, Design, and Revisions ©2005 by Douglas Bechler...... Revised, January 6, 2011