The Second Blog Post
“ Daddy, Christmas? … Daddy, Christmas? … Daddy, open the boxes! What is Santa doing? Where are the reindeers? When will he visit our home? Can we make cookies?! ”
The words of my wide-eyed, wondrous, bright shining star of a 3 ½ year old son… Hahahhhahaha. He is so excited!It is the Holiday Season! Somehow he passed right over Thanksgiving and went head strong into Christmas. No matter – its time to come Home.
Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s. Chanukah. And so many new celebrations to learn about, embrace, and understand, as we continually open our minds and our souls to the journeys of neighbors and community members – profound faiths represented in so many colorful faces.
Practically speaking, this year seems unique on the calendar – It is congested!
This week we celebrate Thanksgiving. And then this next weekend we’re off and running into a shortened Christmas season. Looking at my iCalendar there seems to be holiday date notices in highlighted blue almost every other day! Good Lord.
I’m taking stock this weekend. I do love this time of the year. Amidst the opening of storage bins and boxes with holiday decorations, I’ve been making two lists. The first, a list of thanks. The second, a list of giving.
The list of thanks is long. … ‘ thankfully ‘ . The opposite – a short list of things to be grateful for – would be distressing. The list of giving is – long, too. Thankfully. The opposite – a short list of giving – would be sad.
Thinking. Writing. Reflecting… I’m struck. And the thoughts I’m having seem… feel – new. Its nice to be 50 and have something new strike me.
Thanksgiving, symbolically – is always represented by the bounty of food and drink, on a dining table, in… a room.
Christmas, symbolically – is always represented by a swattled infant, in a nest of hay, with his mother, and a bright star high above… a manger.
What I’m struck by – and there are many things to be struck by – but what I’m struck by most, is the backdrop of the dining table. And the backdrop of the nested hay.
These are both backdropped by Home. Home. A space… whether a room or a manger, where wondrous, empowering, hopeful… things… happen.
At the end of the Fall Harvest, after a Spring and a Summer of growing – everything from wheat, to berries and grapes, to corn and gourds and potatoes… and raising livestock – turkeys and pigs and hens and cows… facing the ups and downs of nature’s, and life’s, cycles. Anticipating and predicting what will insure the greatest harvest. And then cultivating that harvest and preparing the nourishment the land provides us for meals. We come together, family and friends, at a table, in a room… to share. Food. Wishes of Gratitude. Stories of Community. We fill our bellies with nourishment. Take stock. Then sigh that sigh with that certain smile that confirms… we’re ok. Life is… good. We’re Home.
Approaching the shortest and darkest day of the year [ at least for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere ] we brace ourselves for the effect the waning sunshine has. The hours of light compressed into shorter and shorter bursts with each passing day. And at once, as we look to December 25th… we read, and we pray, and we embrace the story of birth. Of new life. Of regeneration. Of hope. Of all we invest of ourselves – our hearts, our souls, our faith – into the life of a newborn child. Brought to our knees in the darkness, we are at once silenced by the absolute power of what a newborn child represents for our humanity, as we move forward into the blinding brightness of a new year. With ‘ Amen ‘, we affirm our love and embrace of ‘ all men [and women] ‘ … of all humanity. And we look toward the Heavens, with joyful tears, and say ‘ thank you ‘ . We know we are ok. We know life is good. We’re Home.
This year, the challenging times we are living through, for me, make these truths even more weighted, than in year’s past. The giving of thanks. The celebration of new life. Gratitude. Hope. And Home.
No matter your Home this Holiday Season, I wish for you a Thanksgiving flooded with the power of nourishment from the bounties we create with our bodies and our perseverance, surrounded by the love of family and friends and animals, and the affirmation that we… you, are ok. Whether Home is found in temporary shelter or an estate, a mobile home or a castle, a teepee or a treehouse… whatever space you find yourself in during these precious moments, remind yourself, and do you very best to make your place… Home.