Every year we pack away the Christmas books with the decorations, and when Christmastime comes around again we hungrily unpack them-- it's like seeing old friends!
We have lots of favorite books, but the one I found two years ago at the Goetheanum, On the Way to Christmas, has quickly risen to the top of the heap.
As you can see the illustrations are so lovely, and the message is so simple: We're on our way to Christmas, and everybody-- animal, spirit, plant, and man-- everyone is coming. I was reading through it again the other day when suddenly I found myself caught-- struck, actually, in a new way.
This page spread really got to me this year:
At the bottom of the page, it says, "And he dropped his club." --It's not a big whammy of a line, but it made me think. Am I carrying any clubs? Literally, no, of course not, but figuratively... there's a lot of stuff that I hold onto. Hurts, resentments, fears, stress, passivity. Those things aren't much different, are they? I've been making a conscious effort this year to reach out to people I love and let them know it. Isn't that what the spirit of Christmas is all about?
I've been thinking about sitting down to write this post for days, and meanwhile, I received a message last night that a dear old friend of ours has just been diagnosed with brain cancer. He's only 37, and he has a baby son. The doctors tell him he has less than a year. It's absolutely heartbreaking. And I just can't stop crying and praying and sending thoughts of love to him.
This young man has an amazing capacity for love and kindness-- even Kitty Bill, who has always been kind of a mama's boy and wary of strangers, took to him right away and sat on his lap at their first meeting. And it's just so senseless to me that someone so special can be taken in an instant, whereas people who are infinitely less kind are given the gift of longevity. And life is such a gift!
But again, despair is a different kind of club, isn't it? I was reminded by reading a thoughtful post by the sweet Kelly at Freeflowing Ways how despite what befalls us, we must go on and live. Truly, truly live! It is the only way.
So today I will be praying for my dear friend, but not letting despair pull me under. There are still Christmas cookies to bake, presents to wrap, and a horse's bottom to sew up. I will be praying for my friend while holding my people tighter today, letting every second count for something. My heart is open, and I'm just so grateful for every minute.
I appreciate you, my blogging friends and family, and I'm wishing you a very beautiful holiday filled with lots of laughter, health, and love.