Tis the season: Christmas signs, wonders and potholes
Christmas is upon us, following the guiding lights of Hanukah. I asked Santa to get me a waterboard for Christmas. I love water sports. They can be dangerous but thats no reason to ban them and spoil everyones fun. That would be torture. I know people who can even waterboard upside down. After a day of extreme water boarding, theyre all talk.The Good Life has all been surveyed, sweeping across the Sierra Nevada with new cut roads, golf courses Ive never heard of, hotels as big as cities, the same lack of trust between environmentalists and the chain saw, development and the small-town feel and fresh potholes. Oh build me a home, where the big egos roam, and the skies are all covered with wires, like so many of the great neighborhoods in San Francisco, a city I dearly love. Maybe someday North Tahoe will resemble such a glorious city, with or without a spectacular suspension bridge at the mouth of Emerald Bay.All this development kind of makes me wonder though, are we adding enough cemeteries? Eventually, all these people will be dying to get in one.Did you know that potholes are not anyones responsibility? Road crews are only responsible for the surface of the road. That was a good joke the first time I heard it. You can laugh or not. I hope, for Santas sake, and your own, your ego chooses laughter.We are engaged in a struggle between our immediate wants and the quality, and sustainability, of life for future generations. In the 40s and 50s we built roads and bridges for cars, not pedestrians and bicycles. Now we have to redesign everything and build it all over again, hopefully with lessons learned, and for all income brackets and to accommodate ever increasing numbers of people. Growth is inevitable. Wisdom is rare.What could possibly entice so many people into having more and more children? Wheres the fun in that? Where did all these people come from? Why didnt we see it coming? Ah, love is blind, and often done in the dark.Perhaps, someday, the big new monstrosity of a sign Caltrans put up as you enter Tahoe City from Squaw will have something to say. The suspense is killing me. Actually, its not new. Its been there over a year I think, as ominous as a foreclosure notice. I guess no news is good news. Maybe its just a welcome sign and will say things like, Welcome to Tahoe. Can I take your coat? or CD jackets make good snow and ice scrapers for your windshield, but you might need a loader. Id like to see that big old sign say something really meaningful, like que sera, sera, No whiners, or, Youll never get out of this world alive.I was thinking of starting a new religion and worship at the base of the monolith with a multitude of faithful on their knees. A few human sacrifices and some chanting might evoke some light from the sign. Im a little surprised someone hasnt tried already. Maybe they have. I dont monitor the sign 24/7. Come to think of it, I have heard some drum circles off in that direction, but, so far, no glad tidings from the graven image. Yes, the signs are everywhere. We are on a collision course with ourselves and few of us are willing to change direction and avoid the impact. Most people dont even read the signs. But all that is hidden will be revealed. You will be able to find a restroom, or Reno, if you just look for the signs. The signs and wonders of Christmas are meant to light our way, obfuscated by our own lust for power and wealth for two millennia, though some of us have seen the light.Heres hoping all signs lead you to Peace, Love, Joy and Wisdom this Christmas season, whatever road youre on. And remember, the ego can be a pothole.Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, experienced ski instructor and commercial driver. He’s lived at Lake Tahoe for 25 years.