Side-by-side coexistence… a great start to joyful mingling.
But because we will always have differences, co-existence is going to be a forever thing. We get confused about differences. Our intolerance causes a lot of problems. It causes a lot of violence.
I find this shocking and wrong. We must find our way to Love. Love is the answer to co-existence. Love brings us to Peace. We come to Love by way of our commitment to Peace. It’s all connected. Coexistence. Love. Peace. There’s a holiday wishlist. There’s a holiday to-do list!
And on the joyful coexistence list? It’s the Winter Solstice today. It’s really one of my most favorite days. Most people cheer because they think the days start getting longer… actually, they really hang out for a few days and stop getting shorter. But I love the Dark. I love the candlelit Mystery of this time, the songs, the story-telling, the discovery of new facets that only seem safe to examine in this sweet soft time. I also love the cold, crisp starlight of Deep Winter. Oh, hurrah.
Alternative Advent – December 21: 25¢ if you have a gas/electric law mower. Ha! No lawn; no lawn mower! I should probably give money for my wild joy at not being personally responsible for a particular piece of turf!
One of the hard truths about this time of year is that we are forced to confront what we may have missed, or have lost. For some of us, those of us who are very privileged, the holidays have been sweet, families have been united and traditions have traveled between the generations. But even those people have lost beloved family members who are no longer there.
It takes a while to recalibrate. It takes a while to decide to focus not on what i don’t have but on what is there. It’s important for me to honor the heart of the holidays, both religiously and communally. But it’s also time to cut out the pieces of the holiday that no longer fit.
I love to think of the root of the word remembering … to re-member, to piece back together. To take the remnants of the good and to make something beautiful from it.
It takes a while to demand (of yourself) the space to celebrate holidays in your image in a fashion that suits you. But you are worthy of that. If you’re alone, find other people who also are. Or celebrate another holiday and make that yours until you can reclaim your own for yourself.
Remember the holidays… Feel free, not to long for what you once believe you had, but to create that which celebrates the deepest possibilities of life. Savor the Dark. Explore the Mystery. Be amazed by the Wonder. Gather with those who love you as you are — even if that means you’re alone and loving yourself fiercely.
Allow your holidays to be filled with Peace. Share that with others. Remember. Make that cloak of beautiful memories and move forward with joy. Peace be with you. Peace be with us all.
Alternative Advent December 12 – 15¢ if you have dishes in your house. There are actually people in our Susquehanna Valley who do not. So be generous. if you have more than one set, try 15¢ per set.
We really have to give up the notion of being in control. It’s never going to happen and it keeps us from enjoying the profound Mystery (Mysteries?) of Life.
We’re so busy being in control that we can’t pay attention. The fog creeps in from the river and spreads out across the land and all we can think about is interference with our drive to work. We know that there’s fog (at least in this season) because the earth is warmer than the air and so when the cold air meets the warm earth sprites dance, I mean mist happens.
If we miss the Mystery, we miss the incredible privilege and responsibility of living. Not that list of responsibilities, but the honor of meeting life face to face and then working to protect and enrich it. The realization that what is here took millions of years to develop and that we are merely witnesses and not the destination of that work.
Control is about fear and the fear leads us no place good. It puts us behind barricades and separates us from each other… It makes our work and existence so wildly important and forgets how incredibly transient our lives are, in the end.
Stop, look at the mist. Find the creatures in the clouds, wonder at the beauty of the river, teach your children to do the same. And while you’re at it, sign the petitions, and show up and protest the actions that will despoil the world (ours only in the sense that we are bound to protect it). Here’s a great place for you to do that… they want to build a tire burner on the river… (the oldest river in the world!) by a school… (our children!). Complain fight struggle against the culture of violence that pervades our schools and allows our children to believe that killing people is a way to deal with our problems. Oh, it’s a sad morning with more children engaged in violence and death, even here in our privileged country.
The Mystery must be observed with wonder. And Peace pursued gently and with great determination.
Much of our October weather this year, here on the east Coast, has been smack between your eyes beautiful. Blue skies, vibrantly colored leaves, still green grass. These are days where the focus seems sharper than ever.
So sometimes we let those soft grey (gray?) days go by with no appreciation at all. These are the days that begin to usher in the Mystery. Mystery is far more slowly moving than the obvious. This may be why we don’t have time for much of it these days. And yet, and yet, it changes our lives — The wonder and perhaps also the stealth and slow speed which is required.
It is not good to live disconnected from the Mysterious. So much is asked of us these days, and so much requires our being fast and flashy and brilliant. Mystery requires our being still and quiet and open. Open can be dangerous in today’s world. But I think in the long run, it is more difficult to live without it. As the month draws to an end (so soon, too soon) I’ll look more at this. But for now, do not curse as the soft dark draws in. Explore it. See what might be waiting for you. (and those of you with SAD? get out there and stride around when it is light, it helps us! It’s that breathing thing and the light thing.)