Congratulations to us. We made it through the end of one era and into the beginning of another. Stop for a moment. Take a look around. What do you see? A quick glance at a winter scene like the one above makes it seem as if there's nothing going on. Just the way a glance at the surface of one of My Minnesota's 10,000 + lakes reveals only sunlight reflecting off sky-blue waters. With so much of life, the activity is all or mostly beneath the surface. Under the snow's surface crust, mice and voles go about their lives hoping they're safe from foxes and coyotes in the day time (either of which could be temporarily out of view behind a tree trunk) and from barred and other owls at night (who remain quietly perched on a tree limb listening for sounds beneath the snow. Have you ever spent time stretched out on a dock, watching beneath the reflections of the surface of the lake? Bluegills and pumpkinseed sunfish fin quietly, keeping their eyes peeled for bass or northern pike looking and acting hungry. Even in cities or at home, most of the activity is rarely on the street or in the driveway. Even we humans spend most of our time inside out of nature(?), out of site of most of our fellow humans. I'm hoping that this Christmas season brings us all into a new era in which we learn to slow down, notice what's really going on and think two steps ahead. Have you ever thought about how much nicer our lives would be if we consistently learned to think about not just what happens if I do this, but what's likely to happen after that. On Christmas, someone opens a present I gave them that turns out to be something they really wanted. Step one, they're delighted and happy. Step two, I get a hug or a kiss as a thank you. Thinking ahead isn't that hard. It's like learning to walk and chew gum at the same time. You can do that, can't you? Celebrate Solhanumas!