Our Christmas tree this year is full and tall and drinks gallons of water. I can barely keep up. We check the water level every few hours, and are continually surprised that it wants still more to drink. The first few nights I even wondered if I should wake up in the middle of the night, set a timer. I have never seen a tree drink so much water. The kids and I joke about needing to hire a babysitter for our tree when we go out. It is as if it is constantly reminding us that she is a living, pulsing thing requiring our attention too. And so I give it, feeling almost as it I have another mouth to feed, someone else needing me. But she responds by hardly shedding a needle. We have had the tree for over a month now and I have hardly swept. She is radiant, and very much alive. People comment as they stand in our entry way on the health and beauty of this tree.
In my quietest, most clear and sacred moments, I wonder even,
Is it possible that this tree loves us, so generous she is with the fullness of her being?
Regardless, it is for certain that her beauty and scent permeate our home and I love her. We turn on her coloured lights first thing in the morning, and turning them off is the last thing we do at night.
I have not written since the election. There isn’t anything to say, and there is everything to say. How do I write the way I used to, when there is so much change, so much being challenged, such unrest? So many things now feel uncertain, no matter your views or beliefs, things that once felt unshakable .
Yet, here is this tree. Steady she stands reminding me that it is still Christmas and there will be delicious food on our table that we have all worked together to make, and the kids will wake up early on Christmas morning ~
we will all feel excited and wrapped up in the coziness of the dark and silent early hours, and our hot chocolate (topped off with Bailey’s for the grown-ups) will warm us as will the impressive fire that Dan will build us as he always does, and the filled stockings will bring fun and delight. I will sit with my back right up against that roaring fire because that is where I love to sit, and I will watch our kids bask in the magical joy of their favourite day of the year and my heart will be full because theirs are~
This is the beautiful dichotomy that I coming to honour, that sadness and joy can be felt at once. Even hope and fear. For holding one does not mean disallowing or even devaluing the other. So it is that our beautiful open hearts are made to ache and fill, fill and ache.
How could I forget the days before my mom died, so intensely written they are in my mind and heart? Though, to be honest, I don’t remember those days as being awful. Family and friends filled our house, there was lots of comfort food and hugs, shared cups of tea and glasses of wine, and tears freely fell but so did laughter easily ring out. Two days before she died my uncle cooked cabbage rolls all day, and then after sharing a meal together a spontaneous family sing-song broke out that lasted a few hours while mom watched on, so peaceful. Not wanting the evening to ever end, we searched our collective memories for songs of her childhood, hymns of her upbringing, lyrics to bring us comfort. It was one of the most significant and beautiful nights of my life,
heralding both an end and a beginning.
In those unimaginably difficult moments grace, peace, and even joy found us.
Times have been turbulent before and people have found their way.
This time, we are being pushed to be brave, true to our own hearts, and fiercely kind beyond measure. This is how we will heal and thrive. I know this with every fiber of my being, as do so many others.
Take heart dear friends,
for we have evergreen trees and wide frosty sky, glittering snow, and magical Christmas morning wanting to love us and
there are infinite cakes to be found.
Sometimes, though, it is up to us to bake them.
Merry Christmas to all, dear family, friends, and acquaintances~ So many beautiful hearts finding their way. I love you all.