I woke up on the morning of December 24, 2020 to an unusual sound. Normally I arouse from sleep to the sound of the water fountain spilling its rhythmic contents over the ornate sculpture that resides outside my bedroom window. But on this day, the sound of individual drops of heavy rain pitter-pattering on the roof overhang, drowned out the sounds of the fountain and, for a brief moment, I smiled in the delight of the rain. It was a sweet sound, since the last ten years there has been so little rain in southern California. Upon fully awakening from sleep, my daughter, Lily, drifted into my room to wish me a good morning, and she immediately walked to the window. With her extended index finger she pulled down a venetian blind slat and, without skipping a beat declared, “It’s a Christmas Miracle.” We simultaneously laughed at the witty comment. For me, her declaration was even funnier since our family only celebrates Jewish traditions. However, her comment also sparked memories of my own childhood growing up on the East Coast.
In New York, Christmas break from school was usually filled with family, trips out of town, and well, snow. Snow falling on Christmas was often seen as the “Christmas Miracle.” Throughout my childhood, Christmas was synonymous with snow, even though we all knew that the birth of Jesus occurred in a country that didn’t even have snow. My thoughts quickly recounted my first fifteen years of childhood and I began to think about the concept of miracles.
On the surface it feels like 2020 has been filled with anything but miracles. But being an eternal optimist, I was determined to spend Christmas Eve thinking about my 2020 miracles. My family has lived in Huntington Beach for the last ten years and, over the first nine years, I have worked as an emergency room nurse in a local ER. This past year, I decided to take my skills on the road and, while my husband held down the fort, I travelled to San Francisco, New York and the California high desert, providing care to communities in the throes of dealing with COVID-19. During this time, I saw many tragedies, but also many miracles. I witnessed patient illness, but also recovery. I witnessed pain and joy. I witnessed sunshine and rain. And perhaps my greatest miracle is not having contracted COVID while spending endless hours caring for COVID positive patients.
On December 24, after spending a good portion of the day running last-minute errands, I drove home at three-thirty in the afternoon on my favorite section of the Pacific Coast Highway that runs from Sunset Beach to downtown Huntington Beach. As the clouds to the east were dispersing from the sky I saw an incredible rainbow. Could it be another “Christmas Miracle?” I pulled over to the side of the road to take in its beauty. I sat there until the rainbow disappeared. Despite its absence, the remembrance of it remains inside of me. I will continue to look for the miracles that are waiting for each of us in 2021 and, I hope you will join me in this optimism and remember your own “Miracles” now, and in the year ahead.
About the Author:
Tina Wayne is a Huntington Beach artist, has created in pen and ink since adolescence. In recent years she has expanded her medium to include watercolor, pencil, markers and other mixed media. She is developing her work for sale and publication. Her future goals include collaboration on illustration projects and publishing her first children’s book about caring for the ocean and reducing pollution. Tina creates to unwind from her hectic life as an emergency room nurse, wife, and mother. She finds inspiration in the simple pleasures of life. Follow her on Instagram @tina.draws.life to see her wonderful illustrations.