Saturday, December 24, 2011
My Reflections this Christmas Eve
Okay, set aside the advertisement driven shopping opportunity where folks are frantically buying beyond their means trying to fulfill expectations in others and themselves that can never quite be reached because who can recreate a childhood moment. We got out of that merry go round some years back and found unmatched serenity in the process.
Lying in bed this morning, my own answer came to me clearly. As if the Angel were visiting the wise men to the East, or perhaps whispering into the ear of Elizabeth, a thought crystallized in my mind and became manifest in my heart. Whether we are speaking of Isis who gave birth to Horus, or Mithras giving birth to her child, or the Mary in that stable in Bethlehem, on this darkest time of the year, we celebrate the joyous birth of a new baby.
In my repose I had to smile, as with my subconscious ear I could hear the screams of that little baby. Then I let out a quiet chuckle, realizing Momma even when she is a Goddess is facing some sleepless nights ahead. Oh my goodness though, how that baby changes anyone who comes near. Everyone who comes around wants to hold her or him. Love is given and returned without even thinking about it. Momma has a contented smile, nursing the baby who feeds freely upon that most special of gifts, the milk of her love. Daddy stands there too, watchful and proud. There are other gifts of course, as people pour in to meet this special new baby, bringing what they have to offer. Along with the Magi from the east with their frankincense, gold, and myrrh, others no doubt supplied baubles and perhaps extra swaddling clothes for the newborn. Boxes of pampers are readily welcomed.
It is our nature to love a baby unconditionally, and to have that love returned in kind. There’s something else that happens. In this baby, we place our hopes for the future. We’ve come face to face with our own imperfections, and that of others. Deep inside we know that this child will grow up imperfect as well, for that also is our human condition. But on this day, we give birth to hope, committing ourselves to nurture that dream of what can be. On this day, we offer not only our dreams, but also our better selves. Parents, extended family, and the community enter a covenant to create a world where this tiny baby can grow to be the fulfillment of our hope.
So what does this all mean to me? Normally around the time of the Solstice, I begin to look inward. In the long dark nights, when better to do such a thing. At Christmas (or Mithras or Hanukkah or whatever your holiday), what better time than now to give birth to hope, to create peace, to offer love, to be my better self. In this spirit of love, light, and a newborn hope, let me wish you all Happy Holidays, as well as peace on earth and good will towards all.