Weekly Photo Challenge: Let There Be Light!

“…Propelled into the furthest arc, forsaken by the sun…” (from a poem I wrote, published in Living Church magazine)  What do we do in the Northern Hemisphere when we feel bereft of light and warmth?  We make HOLIDAY!  An excuse to gather together and eat and light candles, replenishing the light and warmth we feel we are lacking.  Yesterday was American Thanksgiving, so I hosted a dinner for Steve and his mother and aunt and sister and brother-in-law.  We love our home and spend far too little time in it lately.  We have been neglecting our home business (Scholar & Poet Books) for some reliable capital gains in the form of outside employment and losing touch with our domesticity.  Thanksgiving was a good time to settle in to cleaning and cooking and re-stacking books and music.  Puttering around the house while listening to good music is a nesting paradise. 

And It Was Good.  Good Will yielded some great finds in table decorations.  The turkey turned out moist and delicious.  Everyone brought side dishes to contribute.  We even had a family political argument!  (What holiday is complete without one?)  I really enjoyed serving Steve & his family out of the love and joy I feel in my heart…not out of obligation or duty.  The best part was just remembering why we are working so hard…so that we can get back to living out the life that we want to embody: slower-paced, inner-directed, aware & appreciative.  

So…..light.  Candles on the table, ready to dispel the darkness when the sun sets.  Sunlight streaming through the south window, illuminating the sideboard, laden with olives and nuts and good, stinky cheese.  And sherry & gin.  The darkness will not overwhelm us!

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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