As holidays approach, I feel a particular kind of angst. I have always loved the holidays. I have always loved my kitchen working at full speed, filled with incredible smells, mounds of gifts under a sentimentally decorated tree, sparkles everywhere, laughter and hugs galore. I loved the candlelight services I used to lead on Christmas Eve, and after retirement loved visiting various church services on Christmas Eve.
For 3 years of challenges, we've had none of that, well except we still go to other's candlelight services.
Now, we are supposedly within a hair's breath of restoration, life given back, a new start, and the Christmas holidays in our own home once again. I try not to want it too much. Afterall, part of the lesson of these years has been non-attachment. Yet, my heart aches for return to "normalcy." Scenes of what could be, maybe will be, drift into the pictures in my mind.
I know there are many associations tied to Chrismas for many or most people. My family had tragedy on Christmas of 1976 (my husband's aneurysm and subsequent death on New Year's) which has tainted the holiday for my children and me for a time. There are crystal clear memories of what was, of joys, of disappointments, what never was but was yearned for nevertheless.
But this Christmas has never been lived before. It is a new celebration of so much, of family, of friends, of love, of hope, of the birth of the Christ in the cradle of our hearts. Let us prepare ourselves once again for the Divine Light emerging through us. Let us prepare once again to birth a fuller version of the Christ in our lives. Let us love one another and answer the call hurled across the centuries to us - love God, self and one another. Let's do it.