Topic: The holidays
The Holiday Season creeps up on you
even when you expect it, peeking around corners like a shy child, whispering words in your ear that remind you of stories woven in songs, tickling your nose with the memory of smells: bread fresh from the oven, hot chocolate topped with whipped cream. .The weather slowly changes from dry cool to wet, windy cold; and it feels delicious to bundle up in thick clothes and walk over the large brown leaves that still cling to the sidewalk. The moon rides high in the sky but the sun stays low, a lamp flickering in the distance, held by a traveler who may not return. The year draws to an end like the last chapter of a good book. Sit in a quiet room, think about the story of your life, and you may almost feel the earth rotate beneath you like the seat of a comfortable rocking chair.
The green scent of pine, the delicate glitter of glass ornaments, ribbons gold and red and the taste of peppermint spun through a cane of sugar serve to soften all the harsh edges of winter, to remind us that our little collection of fears, disappointments and tribulations are like dreams that pass in the night. When we awaken on the day we hold most special, the sun hangs a little higher in the sky, like a lamp held by a traveler who is returning from a long journey.
The promise of renewal and rebirth is in the air; and for a time that always seems too short, we may unselfconsciously wish to lead a better life, to hope for a better world, to love this troubled little existence of ours with all our heart.
Hanukah, Christmas or Winter Solstice-call it what you will, it is but a speck of sand in the hourglass; and we are still burdened with bills, never-ending work, worrisome news and the next illness that will knock us flat. Holidays don’t stop the world in its tracks. But behind all of the temporary decorations, over-priced presents, fake snow and mushy movies we may yet learn what the rituals have to teach. As you light the candles, sing the familiar songs, drink eggnog, exchange gifts and prepare the dinners, think of all the people in years past who did as we do now. The sound of “Happy Holidays!” echoes through the centuries.
No matter where we are or how we live, for a precious few days we may feel part of the vast human family, past, present and future. And then we are no longer in a season; we are in eternity.
Peace on earth, good will toward everyone.