Winter Holy Days

The world did not end yesterday. We are in a new cycle, heading closer to the Sun once more.

In years past, I would have spent this day at an Episcopal church, practicing with the choir, ushering my children through the Christmas pageant, greeting friends, and sneaking private moments in the candlelit darkness whispering devotions to Jesus and His Father. I would have sent more than a hundred letters through the mail to people far and wide with Scriptural messages and personal anecdotes illustrating the great salvific actions of the Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer of the world. I would have asked for and promised prayers for numerous specific ailments and misfortunes. I would have spoken and written my heartfelt greetings using words like “blessings”, “gifts”, “faith”, “Emmanuel” and “Savior”.

 This year is different.

 I have no tree; I have no gifts wrapped and waiting; I have not sung a hymn or carol; I have no creche with empty manger awaiting the figure of a baby. I am the same person, though, with the same heart and breath and life blood. I use a different language now to try to express my deepest hope for peace and love to rule my life and the lives of those with whom I share this planet. I no longer profess to know a single Truth; I no longer presume to belong to a select portion of humanity; I no longer pretend that the concepts in my brain adequately reflect very much at all of reality.

 The posture I hope to adopt is openness. To face the world, the people in it, the marvel of change and mystery beyond my control, without hiding behind a mask or label or system, is a severe challenge. Had I not already buried a husband, fledged a flock of four, sold a home I had for 20 years, and left employment, I might not believe that I could live without clinging to conventional structure. I test my ability to be flexible, graceful, alive and aware every day. I hope to learn. I hope to grow. I hope to love the world (and myself) more genuinely as I do. This is my holy quest, and every day is a holiday. I celebrate the mingling of material and spirit, the incarnation of life in the substances of Earth. I will eat and drink and hug the bodies of people I love with festive joy as before – but differently.

 I include the entire Universe in this celebration. Yes, this means you! Peace to you all. Love, joy, humility and grace be with us all together….scillagrace.

front porch view

12 thoughts on “Winter Holy Days

  1. Hi, thanks for your blog,I was also in a very ridged Christian religion for many years. When I left it I found myself searching for the True God. I looked for him in spirituality instead of religion, and for me personally, I found him in the Jesus of the Bible, not in the Jesus that I was being taught in the church I was attending. May God bless your journey.

    • Thank you Leon, for visiting my blog and for your good wishes. I was a Bible study leader for many years and am still amazed by the fact that the text records very few instances where Jesus claims something about himself directly and reserves his sternest judgment for Pharisees. Jesus is still an admirable spiritual character to me.

  2. thank you, my dear, and joyous holy days back atcha! I think of all the Christmas letters I’ve received from you over the years this one inspires me the most. Big hugs all round to you and your clan.

    • Thank you so much, Lisa. I do want to spend time reading your blog before I respond in full, and this will have to wait until tomorrow as I’m heading out of town to visit my kids. For now, accept my sincere gratitude and have a wonderful, graceful day!

    • Thank you. I enjoy the process of finding words for the deepest thoughts of my spirit. It helps me a lot! I’m glad to know it’s useful for others, too.

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