The heavy, gray skies poured forth relentlessly on Christmas Eve morning. We did our best to dodge rain drops while running last minute errands, then we hunkered down at home for the afternoon. Late in the day, just before evening set in, the clouds began to clear and the setting sun broke through with golden rays. The professor stepped outside to a soggy, drippy world and came in with an armful of fresh camellias, each a different variety, which he floated in a bowl of water. It became our Christmas centerpiece. Breathtaking. And, on Christmas night we filled another bowl and took it to his mother.