It’s a beautiful Willamette Valley winter day – a mixture of rain and sun, dark clouds and blue sky, herons, rainbows, full and rushing rivers. The orbit of the earth shifted last night – the longest night – and we have entered into the time of lengthening days, tiny bit by tiny bit. It’s the height of the Christmas season – hustle and bustle sounds too calm to describe the traffic and crowds (and nothing can quite describe the amounts of “stuff” piled flowing out of stores into homes.) The old familiar story of Christmas is waiting to be told in just a few days. As with all old familiar stories, there is much more to it than we assume. It is a gateway, a window into human needs and fears, triumphs and shortcomings still accurate after all these millenia.
This year seems especially hard for allowing ourselves to enjoy holidays; to be joyful can feel like denying the truths of suffering and hardship which are so present in this world in danger from greed, power, and war, among other things. The danger is real, of course, and cannot be denied. And yet, and yet. The beauty of the turning earth cannot be denied either. The possibilities for love, for understanding and compassion, for letting go of entitlement, for reaching out to others, for being peacemakers and lovers and helpers and friends are always present – always present within us and between us. They are never far away. Even today, with all its complications, everywhere I go people are giving good wishes to others. “Happy Holidays.” “Merry Christmas.” “Best wishes.”
The calendar of days will come to an end soon, and then we’ll begin again, as we always do. May we pause to give thanks for all the gifts of life as we are carried through the universe on this spinning earth. May we give good wishes, and have goodwill, for all we meet, including ourselves! May we renew our determination to be peacemakers, friends, companions and helpers, so to make this season of peace and goodwill real.
For each and every one of you – may the days of this season be beautiful. I’m sending love to you all – Jill