December 17th, 2012
I’ve always struggled with my religion. After I had my children, I really struggled at Christmas. And every year the task of finding meaning became bigger, both spiritually and traditionally.
I tortuously gave up pretty white lights for colored ones the kids wanted on the tree. I think one year they even blinked. I gave into fortifying my well thought out budgeted-for-month-gifts for a plethora of more on a credit card because their Dad worried it wasn’t enough. Christmas was becoming something big and loud and colorful and empty.
As my wariness of the dark and cold became most evident to me during this time of year, I loved learning that after the first day of winter, the days would be getting longer. This offered meaning to hope and faith. That even though the worst of the cold and dark were present and ahead of me, I knew the days would begin to get longer; that warmth and light were coming. This, I could grab hold of. To have faith and hope in what I could not see or touch and many times, feel. That my favorite time of the year, summer, would be here again.
All the teachings of Christmas could be seen and felt in the quiet of a dark wintery night.
I so easily shudder and dislike the cold creeping into my bones when I let the dog out on these frosty days. It is also a moment I can practice patience, acceptance, love in the midst of loss, and faith in something bigger than us.
Nature continues to teach me, renew me, and soothe me.
Outside, everything has opened up … Everywhere paths unclog … The woods are acres of sticks … When the leaves fall the striptease is over; things stand mute and revealed. Everywhere skies extend, vistas deepen, walls become windows, doors open … All that summer conceals, winter reveals … It is winter proper … I bloom indoors in the winter like a forced forsythia; I come in to come out. At night I read and write, and things I have never understood become clear; I reap the harvest of the rest of the year’s planting. ~Annie Dillard from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.
Winter Solstice is December 21st. May you come in to come out.
In honor of the the families of Newtown, CT.
Katherine Mahon Holmes, LMT, CYT | Suntouched Massage Therapy