I love the holidays with all my heart. I wait all year, anticipatory as a child, to be able to play Christmas carols without apologies. Truth is, from November through New Year’s, my life takes on an incandescence undreamed of in the rest of my work-a-day year. Music, decorations, lights, tinsel, a lifetime’s worth of carefully wrapped treasures – all find their way out of attic or basement, and into a house made magical by the memory of Christmas Past.
Right after Thanksgiving, we chop down a tree at the local farm, then pray for snow and enough nippy New England nights to keep it going through New Years. And invariably the moment the tree is trimmed and I’m alone with it, teacup poised, the rich aroma of winter cinnamon and nutmeg making my head swim with memories, I have a vision of my Mother and Father, as they were when I was small. Young and shiny, full of life and laughter, as when on long ago Christmas mornings they’d stand, sleepy-eyed and open-hearted, watching me exult in the presents they’d saved to buy, then attributed to Santa’s benevolence. Is it the tree that has the power to reach across the years to draw these ghosts of Christmas past, I wonder, or is love a cosmic Time Machine that transcends all boundaries? All I know for sure, is that somehow the seeds of joy my parents planted long ago, sprout anew each November and carry me all the way through January. In good years and in bad — and I, like you, have had both — the remembered love has sustained me, as it sustains me now.
A Continuum of Magic
So when others rail against the crass commercialism, the frenzied traffic and the artificial snow, I see none of that. I see, instead, the holiday feasts from Thanksgiving to New Year’s… recall the glow of other days when all those I loved were with me still, and were gathered round… hear familiar voices ring out once more across the cold, crisp air. I see the faces of beloved family and friends, joined in joyous celebration… feel the laughter and the love that poured from those kind hearts in a continuum of magic that has the capacity to last forever.
It makes me wonder if such magic as that could reach beyond the boundaries of home and hearth, into the larger human family. If love has the power to transform the future, just as surely as those long ago Christmases have transformed a lifetime of Decembers, perhaps in this holiday season, when every act of goodness seems to count a hundredfold, it’s in our power to set in motion the beginnings of a better world.
Just a Thought…
As an astrologer, I can tell you for certain, we are in a time slot of significant transformation for humanity. The next 12 months and indeed each of the years through 2015, appears to be carrying a cataclysmic make-it-or-break-it kind of energy in the Cosmic Calendar. What if this season of loving kindness, could give us an edge in using this potent energy to propel us onto the path of peace and good will, with a universal wind at our back to help us finally go the distance?
If there’s one universal truth of this holy season, it’s that we’re all each other’s family… and that when we choose to see the good amidst the terrible… the hero in the rubble… the decency in a man’s heart beyond his ethnicity or outer trappings… we alter the future as irrevocably as an act of terrorism does, but with vastly different consequences. What if this is a moment, when we can plant a seed of love and goodness that will poke its green shoot up somewhere in time, and blossom against all odds?
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world,” Gandhi said. If the spirit of Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa – all just different names for loving and giving in the name of a loving God – makes it easier to believe we can embody such change, and that the power to alter the future is in our hands, how many lives could we touch with the magical intent of this most magical time of a magical year, I wonder? How many battlefields could be stilled? How many seeds of joy could we plant that would bear fruit in our children’s children’s lives? Enough to tip the balance? I don’t know, but wouldn’t it be wonderful to try? If we know in our hearts that it’s better to light one candle than to curse the darkness, what better season could there be than this, for lighting it?
© Cathy Cash Spellman/The Wild Harp & Co. Inc 2011