Wishing all my friends and family peace and blessings at Christmas and throughout New Year
As a child, I loved Christmas and everything about it, especially listening to, and singing along with the carols. Even without a clear understanding of who Jesus was, or who God is, or even who Santa is, there was a magic in the mystery of what this special day was about.
Christmas was special; filled with all of the sensual things that appeared only at that time of year, from the carols to the home made cookies, to the beautifully decorated tree, to the serenity of the manger showcasing the sharp contrast of circumstances- poor Mary and Joseph huddling in a dark stable to give birth to the baby Jesus amid the barn animals, yet visited by the three great and wise Kings traveling hundreds of miles from their riches and finery so far away.
Yep, it was to the manger that I was drawn, intrigued by the story I hoped one day to really understand.
But somewhere along the way I lost that wonder, and the story of the manger became just another silly tale whose historical reality seemed just as unlikely as Santa, flying reindeer and the North pole.
Years went by in which I never celebrated Christmas hating everything about it.
Now, it’s different. Although no longer bitter to avoid it, and yet without any of the childhood dreaminess I once had, Christmas is very much a time to reflect and to look both backward at what has passed and look forward to what might be.
This year past has not brought too many changes, but I do feel a bit closer to my family and a few old friends as our paths seem to parallel again.
As I watch my parents aging I realize how frail we all are, how short life is, and how much I love life and how blessed I have been to live the life I have lived. Even though, or perhaps because of, the pain and suffering that once seemed impossible to escape from, is now a memory, I know that pain and suffering made me, and brought me to this place and time in my life. So compassion abounds for others and for just how lost, alone, complicated, crazy, hurting, hurtful, humans can be.
I don’t know how much any of us can do to change the course of the human adventure that we share, but I do believe that we each play our parts and that sometimes without knowing, you may have touched someone and helped them in a way that shapes the direction and focus of their life. That is okay and you don’t necessarily have to know the extent of your influence, but rather, have faith that love is always the best choice and a powerful force that brings light into the darkness that surrounds us all.