Sarah has told me I must put up a post relating to the Holidays, and the New Year, and I agree that something probably should be said about this past year of my extreme good fortune in the midst of very hard times, and all our common hopes and fears when looking at the year ahead. But no matter how many images of this holiest of times I can manage to call up, this one old Stephen Foster song comes wafting forward to interfere, and reminds me that I must give thanks for every good moment, not just my own. These have been difficult times in every land, some of them very close to home. There are none of us so fortunate that we have license to forget those who are not, nor to ignore our obligation to look around us and find opportunities to see to the good of our neighbors as well.
Is there someone you know who will not feel the warmth of the Yuletide fire? Someone who will miss out on all the good cheer. Or are you that someone?
Remember, then, that in these darkest of nights, uncounted generations in numberless lands have met the dawn of these too-short days in celebration, in whatever form it takes, the never failing blessing of the return of the light.
Whatever your tradition, take time to celebrate the light. Light a candle or a fire. Share the warmth. Be the light that casts away shadows, your own or your neighbor’s. And when you enter that moment of grace, that light of consciousness that you and I and all our neighbors are standing together in the Blessed Now, say a prayer for tomorrow. If you have none at hand, here is the one that has flown across a century and then some, to sing itself to me.
I join Sarah, my able assistant, Zoni the dog, Priscilla the cat and all her many kittens, Dali, Onyx, Fraidy and Sparkle, and all the Winter’s Bone team, in wishing every one of you a warm and joyous holy season, and a new year full of possibilities, opportunities and good fortune.