Here we are past the middle of December and quickly hurtling into the final week before Christmas.  Everyone seems to be moving at an exaggerated pace trying to accomplish all that needs to be done before the holidays.  In search of some very specific Christmas presents we headed north of the Cities today to Marine on St. Croix, Minnesota.  This small city was founded in 1839 and was the site of the first commercial sawmill along the St. Croix River.  As we parked the car I could hear a rush somewhere nearby and upon following the sound I saw the cascading water of the creek that was emptying into the St. Croix River.  It made a musical sound as it tumbled downward, and here in this one small spot was both the rush of the waterfall and the pause and suspension of the ice on the banks and the rocks and trees that were laying over and near the creek.  I was reminded of how important it is at this season to enjoy the rush and the hustle and bustle of all we’re doing, but to also pause and appreciate the season of light and Christmas, the beauty of nature, and the friends and family that we enjoy.  Wishing you the best of Christmas this week and into the coming new year.