Christmas: The Light and Dark

peace-on-journey-2I am sitting in the quiet of Christmas Eve morning, rain spattering on the roof, the dog sighing in his sleep, watching the lights blinking on the Christmas tree as I drink my tea and wipe sleep from my eyes.

I’m feeling content.

I love this moment of the day. My intention for the new year is to take advantage of this delicious time of day, on a regular basis, to write and express myself, to get more ideas out of my head, onto paper and ultimately out into the world.

I hope that, wherever you find yourself on this Christmas Eve, you are feeling a deep sense of purpose in your life.

In this time of connecting with family and friends, celebrating whatever holiday traditions you subscribe to, it is easy to feel some sadness amidst the joy. Sadness that the year has not produced the results that you want for your life. That you didn’t achieve as much as you wanted to, that you experienced loss that feels like it has diminished your spirit in some way. I certainly can relate to this feeling.

I remember, one time as a child, participating with my family in a holiday candlelight march through town. A supposedly joyful time, for some reason in my teenage angst I had a moment of feeling overwhelmed by the responsibility of Christmas, the spiritual pieces I didn’t understand completely and was not entirely comfortable with, as well as the slew of expectations I placed on myself, and felt placed on me. I was just overcome with sadness, amidst the joy of caroling, smiling faces carrying beautiful lighted candles. It was as if my teenage self, so many years ago, knew that holiday time was stressful, even at a fresh and optimistic age with all my life in front of me.

Flash forward to now, 30-ish years later, to a year of ups and downs, wins and losses, and now to a houseful of young children who for them the best part of the holiday is still receiving presents versus giving them. To a dog who is aging and starting to slow down and who has some pain in his eyes, amongst the joyful, spirited playfulness he still musters, at almost 10 years old. To a marriage that has stood the test of time, through 21 years of growing up together and walking through fire, being so different from one another and yet so cleaved at the same time.

So I hold all the angst of my teenaged self as I face this holiday, tempered with the satisfaction and peace that time and paying attention to life’s natural rhythm brings.

I certainly don’t have things figured out, and I’m walking this life one day at a time. I have miles to go before sleep tonight, with cooking, present wrapping and keeping kids alternatively close for cuddles with me and apart so that they don’t kill each other.

I’m both encouraged and sad today, bolstered and muted, tired and energized, to finally accept that it is really Christmas, that what I’ve accomplished this year is enough, that my life is full and rich and complicated and messy and that I’m exactly where I need to be now.

I’m experiencing the exquisite blend of joy and sadness at this most curious and emotionally loaded of times.

I wish you peace as you walk your journey through the holidays, knowing that whatever comes up for you now is what is meant to. I hope that you will give yourself space to follow your own musings this holiday season, connecting with others surely but also being still and restful in yourself, knowing that you are inordinately and absolutely enough, and that where there is dark there is also light.

I appreciate your fellowship this year and look forward to continuing to walk together next year.

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