As the holiday season looms close in the future with it’s many and varied gatherings, family blessings and problems, running here and there, the glory and exhaustion of it all, perhaps now would be a good time to take a bit of stock, a time to pause and talk about what it all means, instead of getting swept up aimlessly in the malestrom.
If you have a partner, perhaps now is a good time to look toward the holidays and talk about them. What do they mean? How do you wish to celebrate them? What implications do your plans have on those in need? What might you want to do TOTALLY different this year? What will you need to do to stay focused?
One Christmas I celebrated a few years back initially did not seem like one of the best. I was sick on Christmas Eve. My partner’s sister had recently had a baby. We were to go to his family to eat and celebrate together on Christmas day, but my partner was worried about the fact that I had been sick the day before and didn’t want to risk the baby getting sick. We decided, sadly, that it was best that he go to his family alone. So I was left to spend the greater portion of Christmas day alone that year.
But you know what? It’s one Christmas that I remember vividly. I ended up driving to a retreat center in the area, out in the country. There was absolutely no one around. I went into the chapel. No one was there. The sounds, sights, music and prayer celebrating the coming of the Light of the night before and that morning were gone. I sat there a long time in silence, all alone and I prayed. As time went on I began to think of others that were alone on this day and gradually I began to feel a mystical oneness with them and with my partner celebrating with his family. And in my aloneness I felt I was not alone. Paradoxically in that solitude I felt a closeness to my partner and to others that I had not felt in a long time.
Sometimes the holidays might not turn out as we would like, or as we had planned. But they can be a celebration nonetheless and a moment when Light Itself enters the fabric of our being and we realize we are never alone.