Today I was inspired by this holiday time of year and desires of shared well-being—the ole peace on earth type-oh-feeling.
When I was ten, my best friend Chris invited me to go caroling with her church group. I had a blast! We were bundled up to protect ourselves against the cold Indiana weather. There was a lot of communication from adults about which songs we would sing and in what order and a stern lecture about candle safety as we each carried a real lit candle--the child-pyro in me was ecstatic. We were each given cheat sheets with song lyrics, which was great because I could only remember the fa la la la part and nothing past 5 golden rings. We stepped out into the bitterly cold, dark night and yet I was warm (those of you who know me realize what a miracle this is in-and-of-itself). Our crowd of two dozen set off singing as we walked to our first home.
At that point in time, I had given up singing after a kindergarten choir concert where I was inspired to scream-sing to ensure my parents could hear ME above the other 30 children. My parents assured me that they had heard me. They couldn't avoid hearing me. That EVERYONE had heard me and I was teased into lip-syncing from then on out.
I loved the songs that were happy and bouncy and then there were peaceful songs that were so tender and gentle it makes me cry with joy just thinking of them. We arrived at our first door and they were the loveliest people. They gathered everyone from within the house to come out and allow us to share our medley of songs. Everyone was so present, attentive, tapped into the stream of well-being, peace and joy. With each home we visited I fell more and more in love with the music, my candle, everyone else I was singing with, the people who received our outpouring of music, my friend, the snow, my warm coat, the sound of the snow as it crunched under my feet, the Christmas lights, the promise of hot chocolate when we were done… Love. It felt like falling in love.
It's my hope that I tap into that feeling of loving harmony this season. That every morning feels like Christmas morning, excited and eager to see what gifts await me. That I feel the belonging and comfort of being surrounded by loved ones. The eagerness to taste all those amazing Christmas cookies (I might have to write an entire blog devoted to holiday cookies!). How delicious it felt to see the stockings stuffed and all the new presents that were under the tree since going to bed the night before. The yearning and struggle to contain my excitement until present opening time. How much fun it was to play “elf” and deliver the presents under the tree to each person where they were stationed around the room, to get to touch and hold each gift. To rip into a present and feel the thrill of receiving. Of witnessing your hopes turn to reality. How lovely would it be to anticipate each day’s unveiling of the best it had to offer? How wonderful would it be to have everyone cooking the best foods and bringing them all together and giving myself permission to eat until I had to go lay down in the living room—yet miraculously resuscitated when pumpkin pie was offered. Truly a Christmas miracle!
Please feel free to think, ponder and if you are inspired, to share wonderful holiday memories and/or hopes, wishes and dreams. Right now, as I write this I feel like a single caroler, with my single candle, singing songs of cheer, hope, joy and peace. I sing off-key and oftentimes too loudly--but in this choir you can’t get it wrong. You’re welcome to light your candle and sing your song beside me so that all who read this can receive our choir of peace, joy, love and belonging.
All is calm. All is bright.